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Flames Use Long Ball to Trip Red Storm
With the win, Liberty moves to 10-1 on the year. St. John's drops to 7-4.
The host Flames started quickly, taking a lead in the first inning, which they never relinquished. Shortstop Josh Richardson (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) led off the frame with a double to the wall in right-center field and moved to third base on a balk. Two batters later, the shortstop scored on a ground out by center fielder Curran Redal (Sr., Moses Lake, Wash.) for a 1-0 advantage.
Liberty extended its lead in the next inning, connecting for two home runs. With one out, right fielder Michael Robertson (So., Everett, Wash.) ripped his second round tripper of the season into the Flames' bullpen in left field to make it, 2-0. After the second Liberty out of the second inning, left fielder Kenneth Negron (Sr., Kingwood, Texas) singled and Richardson walked. Second baseman P.J. Jimenez (Sr., Yucaipa, Calif.) followed with the second home run of the inning, his first of the year, for a 5-0 lead.
After the first of two rain delays in the contest, the Flames added a run in the fourth. Richardson hit a two-out, solo home run, giving Liberty a 6-0 advantage. The blast was the second of the season for the Flames shortstop.
In the eighth inning, Liberty benefited from two walks, two hit batsmen and an error to plate three more runs. Robertson brought home the first run of the frame with a fielder's choice ground out. Later in the stanza, Negron knocked in a run on an infield single. On the play, a throwing error by Red Storm pitcher Anthony Ceronze, allowed Robertson to score.
St. John's pushed across a run in the top of the ninth on a throwing error by Richardson for the final score of 9-1.
Liberty left-hander Shawn Teufel (Sr., Tequesta, Fla.) pitched six scoreless innings to run his record to 3-0 on the year. He struck out five and walked six.
Red Storm starter Bruce Kern picked up his first loss of the season, dropping to 2-1. The right-hander gave up six runs on seven hits over four innings of work. He struck out one and walked one.
Liberty's three pitchers in the contest were aided by five ground ball double plays.
Richardson led the Flames with two hits and scored three times in the contest. St. John's first baseman Paul Karmas had two hits.
Liberty and St. John's will meet again tomorrow afternoon at Worthington Stadium. First pitch has been moved to Noon, due to forecasted inclement weather for the Lynchburg area.