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Liberty Pounds Out Win over James Madison
Liberty moves to 26-11 on the year. James Madison drops to 20-17. Liberty's victory snaps an eight-game losing skid against the Dukes by the Flames. With the triumph, Liberty has won 13 out of its last 16 contests.
James Madison struck for the first run of the slugfest in the opening inning. First baseman Trevor Knight doubled into the left field corner and scored on a single by shortstop David Herbek.
The visiting Dukes upped their early advantage to 2-0 with a run in the second. Right fielder Matt Tenaglia connected for his fifth home run of the season to lead off the frame, a liner over the right-center field wall.
Liberty countered with its first five-run stanza of the contest in the bottom of the frame. With one out, second baseman P.J. Jimenez advanced to second base, when Tenaglia dropped his fly ball to right field. After the next batter was retired, third baseman Tyler Bream grounded a single through the hole between first and second, scoring Jimenez with the first Flames run of the afternoon. Two batters later, left fielder Kenneth Negron lined a double into the right field corner to bring home Tyler Bream, tying the game at 2-2.
With two runners in scoring position, Curran Redal followed with a two-run single to put Liberty to give the Flames a 4-2 lead. Redal ended up all the way at third after a throwing error, and plated the final run of the inning on a single by Doug Bream.
In the third, the teams exchanged runs to make it, 6-3. James Madison center fielder Matt Townsend was hit by a pitch to open the top of the inning and came all the way around, when the next batter, Knight, doubled to the bottom of the right-center field wall. In the bottom of the frame, Jimenez was hit by a pitch and scored on a one-out double by right fielder Michael Robertson.
James Madison cut into the Flames' advantage with two runs in the fourth inning. Catcher Brett Garner doubled and third baseman Bradley Shaban singled to lead off the frame. Both runners scored when a fly ball by Townsend was dropped by Negron in left field, trimming the Liberty lead to 6-5.
Liberty responded by extending its advantage, with a run in the home half of the inning. With one out and Redal aboard, Doug Bream lined an opposite field double into the left field corner for a 7-5 advantage.
Left fielder Matt Browning helped the Dukes close the gap once again in the fifth, hitting a one-out, solo home run for his eighth roundtripper of the year, slicing the Liberty edge to one at 7-6.
The Flames broke open the contest in the sixth with their second five-run inning of the contest. With one out, Redal singled and scored ahead of Doug Bream, who blasted his second home run of the season into the visitors' bullpen in right field for a 9-6 lead.
Next batter, shortstop Matt Williams, walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Designated hitter Justin Richardson followed by cashing in Williams with a double for the third run of the frame, and Jimenez laced a RBI double into the right-center field gap, upping the Liberty advantage to 11-6. Two batters later, Tyler Bream capped the inning with a RBI single, pushing the Flames' lead to 12-6.
In the eighth, Dukes third baseman McKinnion Langston, who had entered the game in the sixth inning as a pinch hitter, hit his third home run of the year for the final score of 12-7.
Five Liberty pitchers took to the mound in the contest. Dane Beakler, the third pitcher of the game for the Flames, picked up the win to run his record to 3-2 on the season. Right-hander Carter Browning worked the final 3 1/3 innings to earn his first save of the year.
James Madison starter D.J. Brown takes the loss to fall to 3-3. The first of six Dukes pitchers was roughed up for four runs on three hits in just a 1 2/3 innings of work.
Besides Doug Bream's four hits, Tyler Bream and Negron each had three hits in the contest for Liberty, which had 16 total hits on the afternoon. Knight had two hits to lead James Madison.
The Flames take to the road this weekend and step back into Big South Conference play with a three-game series against the Presbyterian College Blue Hose in Clinton, S.C. The series opener is scheduled for Friday, with a 3 p.m. first pitch.