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Two-Run Eighth Inning Lifts Flames Past Lancers
Derek Bennion singled home a run and later scored on a passed ball in the eighth inning as the Liberty Flames defeated the Longwood Lancers, 4-3, Tuesday afternoon at Lancer Stadium.
With the win, the Flames move to 4-2 on the season, while the Lancers drop to 5-5. Liberty defeated Longwood by the exact same 4-3 score last Thursday at Worthington Stadium in Lynchburg.
The Lancers took an early lead in the first inning. Tyler Ames led off the inning with a single to left field and scored on a two out single by Tyler Childress for a 1-0 Longwood advantage.
The Flames evened the score in the top of the third inning as Chad Miller (Sr., 3B, Wheat Ridge, Colo.) hit a solo home run over the center field wall to even the score at 1-1. It was the switch hitter's second home run of the season and his second home run in as many games.
Longwood went back in front in the bottom of the inning as third baseman Zach Zigrang led off with a solo home run to give the Lancers a 2-1 advantage.
Liberty tied the game in the fifth inning. Michael Just (Sr., 2B, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.), who was 3-fo-4 on the day, singled with one out. A batter later, an overthrow of third base by the Longwood right fielder allowed Just to score on a single to right field by Miller.
In the eighth inning, the Flames broke the 2-2 tie with two runs in the top half of the frame. Miller, who was 2-for-2 on the afternoon with a walk, led off the inning with a walk and moved into scoring position at second base on a sacrifice bunt by Patrick Gaillard (Jr., SS, Taylors, S.C.). After Miller moved to third base on a wild pitch, Bennion (r-Jr., OF, Snohomish, Wash.) singled to left field to plate the senior for a 3-2 lead. Bennion, who had come into the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, stole second base, moved to third base on a ground out and scored on a passed ball for a 4-2 lead.
The Lancers cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning as Tyler Light doubled to open the frame and Heilder scored him with a two-out double. However, Phillip Thompson (Sr., RHP, Ringgold, Va.) came in to shut the door by striking out Zigrang and allowing no runs in the ninth inning for the Liberty victory.
Liberty starter Michael Solbach (r-So., RHP, Woodbridge, Va.) allowed two runs on nine hits in five innings, striking out five and walking one. Ryan Page (So., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) followed and earned the pitching win for the second-straight game against Longwood to run his record to 2-0. The left-hander pitched 2 shutout innings of middle relief, allowing two hits and striking out one. Tim John (Jr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) followed by pitching 2/3 of an inning, allowing a run on two hits, before Thompson entered and allowed one hit in 1 1/3 innings to earn his third save of the season. Brett Mangigian took the pitching loss in relief for Longwood, facing just four batters in the eighth inning and allowing one hit and two runs, one earned, while getting two outs.
The Flames will next host the Rider Broncos in a scheduled three-game weekend series beginning Friday. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 2:30, while Saturday's and Sunday's games are scheduled for 1 p.m.