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Flames Sweep Doubleheader From Hartford
The Liberty Flames scored a season-high 14 runs in the first game, while using big innings in the second game, to take both ends of a doubleheader from the Hartford Hawks, 14-2 and 9-4, Saturday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.
With the sweep, Liberty moves to 9-3 on the season, while Hartford opens the season, 0-2.
In the opening game, the Flames jumped to an early 1-0 lead as Michael Just (Sr., 2B, Woodcliff Lakes, N.J.) singled home Chad Miller (Sr., 3B, Wheat Ridge, Colo.), who had reached on a three base error by the Hawk's center fielder.
Liberty stretched the lead to 5-0 as they batted around in the third. After loading the bases with one out, Aaron Grijalva (r-So., 1B, Redlands, Calif.), returning to the Flames' lineup from injury, tripled to the right center field gap to score all three runners. P.K. Keller (So., CF, St. Petersburg, Fla.) bunted to plate Grijalva, only to reach as the Hartford pitcher overthrew first base.
The Flames added single runs in the fourth and sixth innings. In the fourth frame, Just, who was 3-for-4 in game one, would score on a ground out by Grijalva, his fourth RBI of the day, while in the sixth, Patrick Galliard (Jr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) tripled to right center to begin the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Miller.
Hartford got on the board in the seventh inning on a RBI double by David Grossman and added another in the eighth on a base loaded single by Frank Cipolla.
Liberty plated seven runs in the eighth for its biggest inning of the season. With the bases loaded, Miller singled home his second and third RBI of the game to get the frame started. Tommy Bussey (Fr., 2B, Boynton Beach, Fla.) followed with a RBI sacrifice fly and Phil John (Jr., CF, Linwood, N.J.) followed by singling home two more. Later, Derek Bennion (r-Jr., RF, Snohomish, Wash.) had a RBI infield single and David Giammaresi (r-So., DH, Coral Springs, Fla.) brought home a run with a sacrifice fly as the Flames batted around for the second time in the game.
Flames starter Ryan Page (So., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) shut out the Hawks in his six innings of work to run his record to 4-0 on the season. The left-hander allowed only two hits, while striking out six and walking one. He has picked up the win in each of his last four appearances. Tyler Light (Fr., RHP, San Bernardino, Calif.) pitched the seventh inning and Billy Daniels (Sr., RHP, Colonial Heights, Va.) the eighth inning, each allowing a run, while Andrew Wilson (Fr., RHP, Cary, N.C.) threw a scoreless ninth for Liberty. Jason Krajeski took the loss for Harford in his first start of the season.
In the second game, the Hawks took a 2-0 advantage in the first inning. With two out, Ryan Crowley singled home Brady Stouffer, who had doubled and later scored another on a RBI single by Cipolla.
Liberty, just like the first game, plated four runs in the second inning. An RBI single by Errol Hollinger (Fr., C, Upland, Calif.) scored the Flames' first run of the afternoon. After a balk advanced the catcher to second, Keller followed with a RBI single. Later in the frame, a triple by Tim Nanry (Jr., DH, Rochester, N.Y.), a walk and a hit batter would load bases. The next hitter, Miller, then delivered a two-run single to right for a 4-2 Liberty lead. The Liberty third baseman also had five RBIs on the day.
The Flames extended their lead to 8-2 with a single run in the fifth and three runs in the sixth. In the sixth, Miller, who had three stolen bases in the game, scored on a single by first baseman Grijalva. In the eighth, a two-out error by the Hawk's left fielder allowed John to score and a batter later Just singled to plate two more runners.
In the eighth, Liberty added a run on a Giammaresi triple and a sacrifice fly by John, while Hartford put two on the board in the ninth on a RBI single by Jon Morticelli and double play.
The Flames' Michael Solbach (r-So., RHP, Woodbridge, Va.) moved his record to 2-0 on the season, allowing two runs on six hits over six innings. The right-hander struck out five and walked two on the afternoon. Dustin Umberger (Fr., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) followed with two innings of shut out relief, allowing one hit, while striking out four and walking one. Both Douglas Wallace (r-Fr., LHP, Hurricane, W.Va.) and Wilson saw action in the ninth without recording an out, while Jason Koziol (Fr., RHP, Paramus, N.J.) entered the game in the ninth and retired both batters he faced. Adam Flaherty (0-1) took the loss for the Hawks.
Liberty and Hartford will met again tomorrow afternoon in the series finale at Worthington Stadium. First pitch on Sunday is scheduled for Noon.