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Three-Run Seventh Pushes Flames Past Eagles

February 26, 2010
|  Wilmington, N.C.
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Catcher Nathan Thompson was 3-for-3 with a walk and a home run in win, Friday

Catcher Nathan Thompson was 3-for-3 with a walk and a home run in win, Friday

Trailing by a run in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Liberty Flames scored three times to take the lead, en route to a 5-2 victory over the Morehead State Eagles in the first game of the Hughes Brothers Challenge at Brooks Stadium, Friday.

Liberty moves to 4-0 on the season. Morehead drops to 2-4. It was the first-ever meeting between the Flames and the Eagles.

After four scoreless frames, Liberty, the home team on the scoreboard, broke on top in the contest in the bottom of the fifth inning. Catcher Nathan Thompson (Sr., Stoneville, N.C.) led off the frame with a double off the left field wall, and scored on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Curran Redal (Sr., Moses Lake, Wash.) for a 1-0 Flames advantage.

Center fielder J.D. Ashbrook gave Morehead State a lead in the top of the seventh. After second baseman Travis Redmon reached on a fielding error by Liberty shortstop Matt Williams (So., Franklin, Tenn.), Ashbrook hit his second home run of the year over the left field wall for a 2-1 advantage.

In the bottom of the inning, Liberty answered, striking for three runs with two outs to take back the lead. Thompson belted a solo home run, his second of the season, into the parking lot in left field, knotting the score at 2-2. Williams followed with a single and a stole second base.

After second baseman P.J. Jimenez (Sr., Yuciapa, Calif.) walked, Redal dropped a RBI single into center field, plating Williams to give the Flames a 3-2 edge. Third baseman Tyler Bream (So., Zelienople, Pa.) then cashed in Jimenez by grounding a single through the right side of the infield, extending the Flames' second advantage of the contest to 4-2.

Liberty upped its lead with another two-out run in the contest. Williams singled home Kenneth Negron (Sr., Kingwood, Texas), who entered the game as the left fielder in the top of the seventh. Negron had been hit by a pitch and stole second.

Liberty starter Shawn Teufel (Sr., LHP, Tequesta, Fla.) pitched six scoreless innings, giving up four hits. The left hander did not figure in the decision, striking out three and walking two. He pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth inning.

Carter Browning (Sr., RHP, Ada, Okla.), the second of four pitchers for the Flames in the game, picked up the win to move to 1-0 on the year. He allowed two runs on one hit, striking out one. Right-hander J.J. McLeod (Jr., Burlington, Wash.) recorded his first save of the year. He allowed one hit and walked a batter in pitching a scoreless ninth inning.

Like Teufel, Morehead State starter Michael Bottoms did not figure either in the decision. The senior right-hander went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out five and walked two.

Josh Schneider, the second Eagle pitcher, took the loss to even his mark at 1-1 on the season. Both batters the right-hander faced came around to score in the contest.

Thompson went 3-for-3 with a walk, while Williams was 3-for-4 in the contest for the Flames. The two accounted for six of the Flames' nine hits in the game. Ashbrook had two hits for Morehead State.

Liberty will face Lehigh tomorrow in the third game of the Hughes Bros. Challenge. First pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m.