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Liberty Wins Fifth-Straight Game, 5-3
With the win in the non-conference tilt, Liberty moves to 27-23 on the season. Longwood falls to 22-24. In the contest, the Liberty pitching staff set a new program standard for strikeouts in the season. Liberty's Umberger (Jr., Hummelstown, Pa.) fanned six Lancer batters to push the Flames' season total to 410. The mark eclipses the previous Liberty mark of 405 strikeouts, set by the 1997 Flames.
Umberger allowed three runs on four hits, while pitching his first complete game of the season and the fifth by a Liberty pitcher this year. The junior had most recently gone the distance in the Flames' 4-3 victory over VMI on May 23, 2007 in the Big South Baseball Championship. With the win, Umberger runs his record to 7-3 on the year.
Liberty used three extra base hits in the second inning to jump out to an early three-run advantage. David Giammaresi (Sr., 1B, Coral Springs, Fla.) led off, lining a triple off the top of the wall in dead center field. Two batters later, Garrett Young (Sr., DH, Fountain Valley, Calif.) split the center fielder and right fielder with a liner for a double to plate the first run of the contest. Aaron Grijalva (Sr., LF, Redlands, Calif.) followed with a blast over the right-center field wall. Grijalva's home run was his third of the year, giving the Flames a 3-0 lead.
Longwood pushed across a run of its own in the bottom of the frame. First baseman Justin Morreim began the inning with a double down the right field line and scored two batters later on a ground out to second base by second baseman Nick Von Gersdorff.
In the third inning, Liberty extended its advantage to 5-1. With one out, Errol Hollinger (Jr., C, Upland, Calif.) ripped a double off the left field wall. P.K. Keller (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.) followed with a RBI single through the left side and moved to third on an infield single by Giammaresi. Cody Brown then lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Keller.
Longwood plated a run in the fifth inning without recording a hit. Catcher Jon Quigley and shortstop Scott Kimble each drew one–out walks. Quigley advanced to third on a fly out and scored on a wild pitch to cut the Flames' lead to 5-2.
In the sixth frame, the Lancers continued to whittle away at the Liberty lead. With two outs, Morreim hit his third home run of the year, a solo shot, to make it, 5-3 Flames.
Lancer starter John Farell also went the distance in picking up the loss. He drops to 3-4 on the year. Farell gave up five runs on 10 hits, striking out seven batters and walking three.
A trio of Flames, Hollinger, Grijalva and Keller, each had two hits in the contest. Morreim had two of the four Longwood hits in the game.
Liberty and Longwood will meet in the second game of the doubleheader later this evening at Lancer Field.