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Liberty Rolls Past Lions, 12-2

March 22, 2008
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Right-hander Dustin Umberger pitched seven strong innings, picking up the victory Saturday.

Right-hander Dustin Umberger pitched seven strong innings, picking up the victory Saturday.

A four-run second inning and a strong mound effort by Dustin Umberger helped lift the Liberty Flames past the Columbia Lions, 12-2, Saturday afternoon, in the finale of a four-game series between the two teams played at Lynchburg's City Stadium.

With the victory, Liberty moves to 11-9 on the season. Columbia drops to 4-13.

The Flames staked themselves to an advantage they never relinquished in the second inning. First baseman David Giammaresi (Sr., Coral Springs, Fla.) singled to lead off the frame and scored the first run of the contest when Lion left fielder Jason Banos mishandled a double by Jeff Jefferson (Fr., Danvile, Va.).

Two batters later, Kenneth Negron (Jr., 2B, Kingwood, Texas) lined an opposite field RBI double down the left field line to make it 2-0 Liberty. The Flames' third two-base hit of the frame by Tim Rotola (Jr., CF, Wichita, Kan.) chased home Negron with the third Liberty run. Another double by the next batter, Errol Hollinger (Jr., C, Upland, Calif.) cashed in Rotola for a 4-0 Flames' edge.

Liberty upped its advantage to 7-0 in its next at bat. Four-consecutive singles to start the bottom of the third inning, the last a RBI single by Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.), pushed head coach Jim Toman's squad lead to 5-0. A fielder's choice RBI by Negron and RBI single by Aaron Phillips (Sr., Claremore, Okla.) later plated two more runs in the frame.

In the fifth inning, Liberty put three more runs on the scoreboard, each one coming with two outs. A RBI single by Hollinger made it, 8-0, Flames. Left fielder Aaron Grijalva (Sr., Redlands, Calif.) followed with a two-run single for a commanding 10-0 lead.

It was all Liberty starter Umberger (Jr., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) needed. The right-hander pitched six scoreless frames, before yielding two runs to the Lions in the seventh inning to improve his record to 3-2. The junior allowed two runs on seven hits, striking out seven batters and walking one over seven innings.

The Flames added two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for the final outcome of 12-2. Liberty tallied runs on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Jason Love (So, C/1B, Anchorage, Alaska) and a wild pitch.

Giammaresi and Negron led Liberty's 17-hit attack with three hits each. Each one of Liberty's starters had at least one hit in the contest. Banos had three hits to pace Columbia.

Liberty travels to Fairfax, Va., on Wednesday for a midweek game at George Mason. Game time is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.