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James Madison Edges Liberty, 3-2
Liberty falls to 9-7 on the season, while James Madison moves to 14-3. The Flames have dropped four straight contests, while the Dukes have won 10 in a row.
Trailing 3-1 in the home half of the ninth inning, Liberty threatened with back-to-back one-out singles by center fielder Tim Rotola (Jr., Wichita, Kan.) and catcher Errol Hollinger (Jr., Upland, Calif.). P.K. Keller followed by lacing a single off the wall in right, plating Rotola to cut the James Madison advantage to 3-2. However, Hollinger was thrown out at third base for the second out of the frame. Reliever Trevor Knight then retired the next batter to record his third save of the season and seal the victory for the Dukes.
After a scoreless first three frames, James Madison struck for two runs in the fourth inning. With two outs, designated hitter Lee Bujakowski singled, keeping the frame alive. Catcher Brett Garner followed with his second home run of the year, to give the Dukes a 2-0 lead.
James Madison added a solo run in the top of the eighth. After loading the bases with no outs, a wild pitch allowed the Dukes to up their advantage to 3-0. However, Liberty reliever Dane Beakler (Jr., RHP, York, Pa.) was able to prevent further damage.
In the bottom of the inning, the Flames, who stranded several runners in scoring position throughout the game, got on the board. Hollinger reached on an error and later scored on a fielder's choice by Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.). Liberty went on to load the bases with two outs, but Knight, who was the fourth pitcher of the frame for the Dukes, retired the next batter he faced to get out of the jam.
Liberty starter Ryan Page (Sr., RHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) drops to 0-2 on the season. The left-hander gave up two runs on four hits, striking out two batters and walking two. Beakler came on in the sixth and yielded one run on one hit, striking out seven and walking one in four innings of work. Trevor Kaylid picked up the win for James Madison to run his mark to 2-1 on the year. The senior, the first of five pitchers for the Dukes, struck out one batter and walked another in 5 1/3 scoreless frames.
Rotola went 3-for-5 and scored a run to pace Liberty at the plate. Keller had two hits on the afternoon and drove in a run. Brett Sellers collected two of James Madison's five hits in the game.
The Flames host the Columbia Lions for a four-game series, beginning Thursday. The series will be played at Lynchburg's City Stadium. Game time Thursday is scheduled for 3 p.m.