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Liberty Drops Series Opener to Winthrop

April 25, 2008
|  Rock Hill, S.C.
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First baseman David Giammaresi drove in four runs with a double and a home run Friday night.

First baseman David Giammaresi drove in four runs with a double and a home run Friday night.

The Winthrop Eagles broke a 2-2 with three runs in the sixth inning, en route to a 10-5 victory over the Liberty Flames, Friday night at the Winthrop Ballpark.

With the setback in the opener of the Big South three-game weekend series, Liberty falls to 8-5 in the conference standings and 21-21 overall. Winthrop moves to 7-6 in the Big South and 17-24 overall.

Liberty opened the contest with a run in the first inning. With one out, Errol Hollinger (Jr., C, Upland, Calif.) singled past the second base bag for the first hit of the contest. Two batters later, David Giammaresi (Sr., 1B, Coral Springs, Fla.) lined a double over the head of the left fielder to chase home Hollinger with the first Liberty run of the game and a 1-0 advantage.

After being held in check through the first four frames, Winthrop got on the scoreboard with two runs in the fifth inning to take a 2-1 lead. With one out, second baseman Aaron Bonomi singled through the middle. After the next batter flew out, center fielder Tyler McBride hit a two-run home run over the right field wall to give the Eagles their first advantage of the game.

The Flames knotted the contest at 2-2 in their next at bat. Hollinger led off the sixth frame by roping a liner into the left center field gap for a double. The Liberty catcher then moved to third on a ground out by right fielder P.K. Keller (Sr., Clearwater, Fla.), and tied the contest on a ground out by Giammaresi.

In the bottom of the inning, Winthrop went back on top for good with three runs. After the first three Eagles batters of the frame singled to load the bases, third baseman Bryn Henderson plated the first run of the frame with his team's fourth consecutive single. Two batters later, a sacrifice fly by Bonomi brought home the second tally of the frame. Designated hitter Eddie Rohan followed with a single off the pitcher to put the Eagles back on top by a 5-2 count.

Winthrop upped its edge to 7-2 in the seventh. Left fielder Tony Brunetti began the inning with a single and moved to third on a one-out single by shortstop Kevin Nolan. Right fielder Billy Froehlich then added to the Eagle cushion with a RBI single to left field. Two batters later, catcher John Murrian singled home the second run of the frame.

In the eighth, Liberty cut into the Winthrop advantage. With one out, Keller singled to right. Giammaresi then blasted a two-run home run over the left field wall, slicing the Flames' deficit to 7-4. The round tripper was the senior first baseman's third in his last five games and his fourth on the year.

The Eagles extended their lead once again in the bottom of the inning. First baseman Eddie Tisdale singled home the first run of the frame. Two batters later, Froehlich hit a two-run double for a 10-4 Winthrop edge.

The Flames plated a run in the top of the ninth for the final score of 10-5. Aaron Phillips (Sr. SS, Claremore, Okla.) opened the frame with a double down the right field line, and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Holllinger.

Liberty starter David Stokes (Sr., RHP, Locust Grove, Okla.) takes the loss to fall to 5-4 on the year. The right-hander allowed five runs on nine hits during six innings of work. Winthrop starter Ryan Schwartz gave up two runs on four hits to improve to 4-5 on the season. Josh McDonald recorded his fourth save of the year with 1 1/3 innings of relief.

Giammaresi had two hits and four RBIs in the game for the Flames. Hollinger also had two hits in the contest for Liberty. Froelich led all hitters in the contest with four hits for the Eagles.

Liberty and Winthrop will meet in the second game of the weekend series tomorrow. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the Winthrop Ballpark.