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Panthers Drop Flames
Panther right-hander David Horne pitched his second complete game of the season as Birmingham-Southern downed the Liberty Flames, 4-1, Saturday afternoon at Worthington Stadium in the second game of the three-game Big South series.
Horne scattered six hits and allowed only an unearned run on the afternoon for the complete game victory. With his second complete game of the season, the senior runs his record to 7-2. After yielding a run in the first, the senior held Liberty scoreless over the next eight innings and finished the game by retiring nine straight batters. He struck out four and walked two.
With the win, the Panthers move to 11-3 in the Big South Conference and 24-17 overall, while the Flames drop to 10-7 in the conference and 32-13 overall.
Liberty jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Lead off batter Chad Miller (Sr., 3B, Wheat Ridge, Colo.) opened the home half of the inning by reaching on a fielding error by the Panther shortstop. He then wound up at third base on a Michael Just (Sr., 2B, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) hit-and-run single. The third baseman scored on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Grijalva (r-So., 1B, Redlands, Calif.).
Birmingham-Southern knotted the game in the fourth inning. Right-fielder Brint Hardy singled with one out and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Scott Billak, which was mishandled for an error by the Flames' third baseman. Two batters later, designated hitter Billy Froehlich' s two out single to center field scored Hardy and tied the game at 1-1.
The Panthers extended their lead in the following inning. Blake Burton and Allen Aubin both singled to lead off the top of the fifth. Burton came home as Ronny Woods lifted a sacrifice fly to left field. Aubin then moved to second on a passed ball and advance to third on ground out. A squeeze bunt with two outs by Billak scored the third baseman for a 3-1 advantage.
With Horne holding the Flames in check, Birmingham-Southern added a run in the top of the ninth to make it, 4-1. Panther third baseman Aubin, who 3-for-4 in the contest, singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Woods and scored on a single by Mark Goforth.
Liberty starter Phillip Thompson (Sr., RHP, Ringgold, Va.) took the loss to drop to 6-4 on the year. The right-hander allowed three runs, two of which were unearned, on seven hits, while striking out three. It is the first time in nine starts this season that Thompson has picked up a loss. Ryan Page (So., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) allowed a run on three hits in three innings of relief.
Birmingham-Southern and Liberty will meet again tomorrow afternoon in the finale of the three-game series at Worthington Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.