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Manhattan Edges Liberty in 10-inning Slugfest
Liberty drops to 12-5 on the year. Manhattan moves to 9-5. The contest was the third game this week to go into extra innings for the Flames.
In the first five innings, Liberty staked itself to a 9-0 advantage. The Flames opened the contest by taking advantage of two Manhattan miscues to plate two runs, and followed with three-run innings each of the third and fourth frames.
Shortstop Matt Williams (So., Franklin, Tenn.) was hit by a pitch to open the third inning and scored on a double by P.J. Jimenez (Sr., Yucaipa, Calif.). After center fielder Curran Redal (Sr., Moses Lake, Wash.) reached on an error, third baseman Tyler Bream (So., Zelienople, Pa.) doubled into the left-center field gap, chasing both runners home for a 5-0 lead.
In the fourth frame, Redal provided a RBI single to get things started and Bream followed with a two-run single to up the Liberty edge to 8-0. The Flames also added a single run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly.
The Jaspers cut into their deficit in the sixth inning. Right fielder Mike McCann plated Manhattan's first two runs of the frame with a double, and two batters later, scored on a single by Joe Rock.
The next batter, shortstop Nick Camastro, capped the four-run frame with a RBI double , cutting the Flames' advantage to 9-4.
Manhattan whittled their host lead to three runs in the seventh. With one out, Sheffield singled and was aboard on a home run by McCann, his first of the year, to make it, 9-6, Liberty.
In the eighth, the teams exchanged the lead in the contest, with big innings. The Jaspers took an 11-9 lead, with five runs on four hits. Center fielder Kevin Neito led off the top of the eighth with his second home run of the season.
Later in the frame, McCann singled with one out and two men on, to bring home another run to inch Manhattan to within one at 9-8. After a fly out for the second out of the inning, catcher Ramon Ortega connected for his first home run of the year, putting the Jaspers in front for the first time in the contest.
The Flames answered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead. With two runners on and one out, designated hitter Jeff Jefferson (Jr., Danville, Va.) lined a double inside the bag at third to clear the bases and knot the score at 11-11. Right fielder Casey Brown (Sr. Bakersfield, Calif.), who had entered the game as a pinch runner in the fifth, followed by belting his first home run of the season high off the Worthington Stadium scoreboard, putting Liberty back in front, 13-11.
However, the hard-charging Jaspers used their fourth home run of the contest in the ninth to tie the score and send the game to extra innings. With one out, Nieto beat out an infield single to the shortstop. Second baseman Mark Onorati followed with his second home run of the season to square the game at 13-13.
In the top of the 10th inning, Nieto singled with one out and a runner on second to give the Jaspers a 14-13 advantage. In the bottom of the inning, Liberty put two men on against reliever John Soldinger, but the right-hander pitched a scoreless inning, sealing the 14-13 Manhattan win.
Liberty freshman right-hander Josh Richardson (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) takes the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year. The fourth of five pitchers in the contest for the Flames, Richardson gave up three runs on four hits in two innings of relief. He struck out three and walked one.
Mike Giordano picks up the win to move to 3-0 on the season. The sophomore allowed four runs on six hits over three innings, striking out two and walking one. Soldinger pitched the scoreless 10th to record his five save of the year.
Bream collected four hits and drove in five runs in the contest to pace Liberty. McCann had four hits and knocked in four runs for Manhattan. Nieto and Ortega each also had four hits in the game for the Jaspers.
Manhattan and Liberty will meet again tomorrow in the final game of the three-game series at Worthington Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.