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Trio of Home Runs Highlight Game One Victory
With the win, Liberty halts a two-game skid and runs its record to 7-3 on the season. Army falls to 2-6. It was the first time since March 31, 2006 in an 8-5 victory over VMI, the Flames have hit three home runs in a game at Worthington Stadium.
After the start time was moved back an hour due to rains in the Lynchburg area, the two squads traded runs in the opening inning. Army scored in the top of the first frame on a RBI single which fell inside the right field line by catcher Chris Simmons with two out. The Flames countered in their first at bats of the contest on a double by catcher Errol Hollinger (Jr., Upland, Calif.) and a RBI infield single by P.K. Keller (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.).
Liberty took a 2-1 lead in the third inning. Phillips (Sr., SS, Claremore, Okla.) ripped a leadoff home run over the right field fence to give the Flames a lead they would never relinquish. The round tripper was the second of the season for the Liberty shortstop. Both of his home runs have given the Flames ahead in a contest for good.
In the fifth frame, the Flames extended their advantage by plating four runs. Second baseman Tommy Bussey (Jr., Boynton Beach, Fla.) opened the stanza with a double down the left field line. After Phillips was hit by a pitch, he and Bussey moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Kenneth Negron (Jr., CF, Kingwood, Texas) brought the Liberty second baseman home with a RBI ground out for the first run of the inning. Hollinger followed by splitting the center fielder and right fielder with a double to the right –center field gap for a 4-1 advantage. Young, the next batter, then hit a towering home run over the center field fence, his first of the season, to put Liberty in front, 6-1.
Bream (Fr., LF, Elizabethtown, Pa.) upped the Flames' lead in the seventh inning. With the bases loaded with Liberty runners and one out, the freshman left fielder connected for his first collegiate home run, a grand slam, to give Liberty a 10-1 lead.
Army scored three runs in the eighth inning to close the gap to 10-4, but Liberty added a run in the bottom of the frame on an overthrown pickoff attempt to make it 11-4. The Black Knights added a tally in the ninth for the final score of 11-5.
Liberty starter Clarence Nicely (Jr., RHP, Milton, W.Va.) runs his record to 2-0 on the year, allowing one run over six innings. The right-hander struck out four and walked two batters. Army starter Drew Clothier falls to 1-2. The senior yielded six runs on nine hits, striking out two and walking one over six innings.
Bream, Young and Hollinger each had two hits for the Flames in the victory. Black Knight designated hitter Joey Henshaw and first baseman Kevin McKague had two hits apiece for the visitors.