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Flames Complete Series Sweep
Liberty moves to 6-3 in the Big South Conference and 17-17 overall. Radford falls to 2-7 in conference play and 15-19 overall. The Flames have now defeated the Highlanders in 12-straight games.
For the second-consecutive game, Liberty opened the contest by plating runs during its first at bats. Errol Hollinger (Jr., C, Upland, Calif.) singled with one out and scored, as P.K. Keller (Sr., LF, Clearwater, Fla.) doubled off the wall in right-center field. Two batters later, Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.) lifted a RBI sacrifice fly to center for a 2-0 lead. David Giammaresi (Sr., 1B, Coral Springs, Fla.) followed with a run-scoring single, giving the Flames, a 3-0 advantage.
Radford got on the scoreboard in the bottom in the opening inning. Second baseman Ty Rivers led off the frame with a single. He later scored the first Highlander run of the contest on a sacrifice fly by catcher Nate Toth.
Liberty extended its advantage with three more runs in the second. With one out, Aaron Phillips (Sr., SS, Claremore, Okla.) and Tommy Bussey (Jr., 2B, Boynton Beach, Fla.) reached on back-to-back singles. Hollinger then chased both runners home with a double into the right field corner. Keller followed with a sacrifice fly to score the Flames catcher for a 6-1 Liberty edge.
Radford cut into the Flames' advantage in the bottom of the frame. The Highlanders sliced the Liberty lead to three runs, 6-3, on two bases-loaded walks issued to left fielder Will Naylor and first baseman Alex Gregory.
After two scoreless innings, the two squads exchanged single markers in the fifth. In the top of the stanza, Giammaresi singled up the middle to open the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by pinch hitter Tim Rotola (Jr., OF, Wichita, Kan.). The next batter, Joseph Feeley (Fr., CF, Chesapeake City, Md.) lined a double down the right field line to plate the Flames' seventh run of the contest. In the home half of the inning, Gregory hit his ninth home run of the year, a solo round tripper, to make it, 7-4 Liberty.
In the ensuing inning, the Flames took advantage of two Radford miscues to up their lead to 11-4. Keller opened the frame by reaching on a fielding error by Highlander second baseman Rivers. The Liberty left fielder swiped second and third base and scored on a two-out throwing error by shortstop Ben Toth on a ground ball by Giammaresi. Rotola reached on a bunt single to keep the frame alive and scored behind Giammaresi on a single by Feeley.
Meanwhile, Liberty reliever Ryan Page (Sr., LHP, Cranberry Twp.) restored order after coming on in the second inning. The Flames lefty allowed a run on seven hits over 6 1/3innings to improve 2-4. He struck out and walked. Radford starter Mark Beppler falls to 3-1 on the year. The first of five Highlander hurlers on the day, Beppler gave up six runs on six hits over two innings.
Liberty extended its cushion with a single runs in the seventh and eighth. In the seventh inning, Bussey walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Keller doubled down the left field line to add a run. In the eighth, a RBI ground out by Feeley. Radford scored a run in the ninth frame for the final margin of 12-5.
Giammaresi and Hollinger had three hits to pace the Flames' 15-hit attack. Feeley had a career-best four RBIs with two hits. Gregory had three hits in the game for the Highlanders.
Liberty travels to across the Commonwealth to Williamsburg, Va., on Tuesday for a night contest against the Tribe of William & Mary. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. The following afternoon, the Flames will host the Virginia Tech Hokies at Worthington Stadium. First pitch Wednesday afternoon is scheduled for 3 p.m.