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Early Lead Pushes Columbia Past Liberty

March 21, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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P.K. Keller had three doubles in game two of a doubleheader Friday.

P.K. Keller had three doubles in game two of a doubleheader Friday.

The visiting Columbia Lions led from start to finish for a 7-3, game two victory over the Liberty Flames, Friday afternoon, completing a sweep of a doubleheader between the two teams at Lynchburg City Stadium.

Liberty drops to 10-9 on the season, while Columbia moves to 4-12. The Lions took the opening game of the twinbill, 11-6.

Columbia struck for four first-inning runs, jumping out to an advantage the Lions never relinquished. After the first two batters of the inning reached safely, clean-up hitter Ron Williams got Columbia started by doubling home the first two runs of the contest for a quick, 2-0 lead. Third baseman Mike Roberts followed with a RBI for the Lions' third tally of the opening frame. A throwing error by Liberty shortstop Aaron Phillips allowed the fourth Columbia run to score, giving the Lions a 4-0 advantage.

Liberty plated a single run in the bottom of the opening inning. Tim Rotola (Jr., CF, Wichita, Kan.) lined a single up the middle and advanced to second base on a wild pitch. The outfielder then scored on a fielding error by Columbia shortstop Alex Ferrera on a ground ball by Aaron Grijalva (Sr., LF, Redlands, Calif.).

After four consecutive scoreless frames, the Lions extended their 4-1 edge in the sixth. With two outs, left fielder Jason Banos singled home the first run of the inning. Second baseman Henry Perkins followed with a two-run triple for a 7-1 Columbia advantage.

Liberty scored solo runs in the seventh and eighth innings for the final margin of 7-3. Catcher Errol Hollinger (Jr., Upland, Calif.) blasted his second home run of the season over the left field fence to lead off the seventh frame. In the eighth, Grijalva began the inning with a single and scored on P.K. Keller's (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.) double, his third two-base hit of the game.

Starter David Stokes (Sr., RHP, Locust Grove, Okla.) picked up the loss to fall to 3-2 on the year. The senior allowed seven runs on 12 hits in seven innings of work. Columbia's Dan Bracey gave up three runs, while scattering nine hits over seven frames, to improve his mark to 1-2 on the season.

Keller went 3-for-4 with an RBI in the contest for the Flames, while teammate David Giammaresi (Sr., 1B, Coral Springs, Fla.) also had three hits. Banos and Perkins recorded three hits apiece for Columbia.

Liberty and Columbia meet in the final contest of the four-game series tomorrow afternoon at Lynchburg City Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.