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Flames Drop Second Game of Doubleheader to Bulldogs
Sophomore right-hander Ben Buchanan limited Liberty to four hits in pitching a complete game as UNC Asheville Bulldogs downed the Flames, 4-2, Saturday afternoon in the second game of a Big South doubleheader at Greenwood Field.
Making his third start of the season, Buchanan went the distance for the first time this season. The right-hander allowed two runs on four hits, while striking seven and walking five. He raises his recorded to 4-4 on the season.
Liberty falls to 12-9 in the Big South Conference and 34-17 overall, while UNC Asheville moves to 10-11 in the Big South and 23-28 overall. With the win and a Charleston Southern loss, the Bulldogs secured a spot in the upcoming Big South Baseball Championship.
Just like in the first game, UNC Asheville scored the first run of the contest as the Bulldogs struck for a two-out run. A single by Joe Pellington scored Brett Robinson, who led off the inning, to take an early 1-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs added to their lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Kevin Mattison singled up the middle to open the frame. The next batter Matt Henson doubled to left field which the left fielder mishandled allowing Mattison to score. Henson later scored on a ground out by Kyle Smith for a 3-0 lead.
After holding the Flames scoreless through five innings, Liberty broke through against UNC Asheville starter Ben Buchanan with two runs in the sixth to cut the Bulldogs' advantage to 3-2. Chad Miller (Sr., 3B, Wheat Ridge, Colo.) opened the inning with a walk and swiped second base. The third baseman then stole second and scored as the throw from the catcher sailed into left field. With one out, Aaron Grijalva (r-So., DH, Redlands, Calif.) walked and stole second. Phillip Laurent (Sr., LF, Cantrall, Ill.) followed with a double into the right field corner to bring home Grijalva.
The Bulldogs upped their lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Catcher Edmund Locklear walked and scored as next batter Steve Burnich doubled to the left field corner.
Liberty starter Ryan Page (So., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) took the loss falling to 8-2 on the season. The left-hander allowed three runs on six hits in four innings. Tyler Light (Fr., RHP, San Bernardino, Calif.) followed with four innings of relief, allowing one run on two hits.
The Flames return home to Worthington Stadium on Tuesday afternoon for the last non-conference game of the regular season as they will host the Richmond Spiders. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.