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Flames Cruise Past Highlanders, 10-3
With the win, the Flames move to 4-3 in Big South action and 20-9 overall on the year. The win was the 1,000 victory in the 37-year history of the Liberty program. For the second consecutive contest, each of the nine Flames in the starting line-up had at least one hit in the game. The Highlanders fall to 4-3 in conference play and 13-14 overall.
Teufel runs his record to 6-1 on the season. The senior left-hander allowed three runs on eight hits over eight innings of work. He struck out 10 and walked one, retiring the last nine batters he faced. His strikeout total eclipses his former career mark of nine, which he has reached three times.
Liberty batted around to open the contest, plating five runs on five hits and two errors in the top of the first. Center fielder Curran Redal walked and moved to second on a one-out single by third baseman Tyler Bream. Catcher Nathan Thompson followed with a single to bring home Redal with the first run of the game. When the throw on Thompson's single back into the infield went to home plate, Bream moved to third and later scored on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Matt Williams for a 2-0 advantage.
After second baseman P.J. Jimenez bounced a two-out single through the left side of the infield, designated hitter Jeff Jefferson doubled into the left-center field gap to plate another run for a 3-0 Liberty edge. Right fielder Michael Robertson then legged out an infield single, allowing Jimenez to score. A fielding error by Brett Highlander shortstop Brett Mollenhauer on a grounder by Trey Wimmer permitted Jefferson to come home with the final run of the uprising for a 5-0 lead.
Radford got onto the scoreboard in the second inning. With runners on second and third and one out, Mollenhauer lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to deliver the first Highlander run of the contest. Center fielder Tyren Rivers followed with a run-scoring single to make it, 5-2, Flames.
In the third, the two squads traded unearned runs. With one out, Jimenez tripled to the right field corner and plated a run on a two-out fielding error by third baseman Matt Mack in the top of the inning. In the bottom of the frame, right fielder Matt Hillsinger reached on a fielding error by Teufel and moved all the way to third base, as the pitcher's throw was errant. Two batters later, Hillsinger scored on a ground ball by left fielder Raphael Turner, trimming the Liberty lead to 6-3.
The Flames extended their lead in the fifth inning with three more runs. Williams led off the frame with a single and moved to third on a one-out double, ripped past the third base bag by Jefferson. Robertson followed with a double off the right-center field wall, cashing in both runners. After moving to third on a ground out, Robertson gave Liberty a 9-3 advantage, scoring on an infield single by Redal.
Liberty added a run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly by Casey Brown, who entered the game in the top of the eighth inning, for the final score of 10-3.
Radford starter Aerik Taylor falls to 2-1 on the season. He was roughed up for nine runs on 11 hits over five innings. He struck out one and walked one.
Jimenez, who has multi-hit games in seven of his last eight contests, had three hits to lead the Flames. Williams, Jefferson and Robertson each had two hits apiece. Robertson also had three RBIs. Hillsinger and Cook each had two hits for the Highlanders.
Liberty and Radford will meet again tomorrow in the middle game of their conference series at RU Baseball Field. Game time is scheduled for 2 p.m.