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Liberty Falls 5-0 to Southern Miss
Southern Miss used two home runs and a complete-game shutout by starter David Clark to defeat the Liberty Flames, 5-0, Saturday afternoon in the Coca-Cola Classic at Pete Taylor Park.
Liberty falls to 9-5 on the season, while Southern Miss moves to 9-6. The Flames were held scoreless for the first time in 213 games. The last time Liberty was shut out was April 10, 2004 in a 3-0 setback at Winthrop.
Host Southern Miss threatened in its first at bat of the contest. The Golden Eagles loaded the bases with one out, only to see the Flames end the threat with an inning-ending pitcher-to-home-to-first double play.
In the second inning, Southern Miss jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Center fielder Drew Carson led off the frame with his fourth home run of the season. The round tripper was the first earned run allowed by Liberty starter David Stokes (Sr., RHP, Locust Grove, Okla.) in 22 1/3 innings this year.
The Golden Eagles added to their advantage in the fifth frame. Shortstop Brian Dozier began the inning with a double to right-center field. Trey Sutton followed with a home run to give Southern Miss a 3-0 edge. It was the second baseman's second home run of the year. Later in the inning, the Eagles put together back-to-back infield singles and cashed them in on a two-run double by Anthony Doss to up their lead to 5-0.
Liberty threatened in the seventh with runners at second and third and one out. However, Southern Miss starter Clark struck out the next two hitters to preserve the shutout.
Liberty starter Stokes picks up his first loss of 2008, dropping to 3-1 on the year. The right-hander pitched six innings, giving up five runs on 13 hits. Clark, who went the distance for the first time this season, moves his record to 2-1. The Golden Eagle right-hander allowed seven hits, striking out seven Flames and walking two.
Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.) had three hits for the Flames. Dozier and Carson had three hits apiece, pacing a season-high 14-hit attack for Southern Miss.
Liberty will play Cal. State Northridge in its final game of the Coca-Cola Classic today at 4:30 p.m. at Pete Taylor Park.