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Elon Holds Off Liberty, 3-1
Liberty falls to 29-12 on the year. Elon moves to 28-16.
In the home half of the third inning, the Phoenix mounted a two-out scoring threat. First baseman Ben Scott kept the frame alive with a single through the middle and moved to third base on a double into the right-center field gap by center fielder Harry Austin. However, Umberger got catcher Alex Swim to bounce out to first baseman Jeff Jefferson to end the inning, without any damage.
Meanwhile, Liberty got a two-out single by left fielder Kenneth Negron in the fifth. However, Elon starter Ken Ferrer was able to get center fielder Curran Redal to ground out to end the inning.
Liberty starter Dustin Umberger pitched six scoreless innings, allowing six hits. He struck out five and walked two.
After Umberger departed after the sixth, Cameron Giannini retired Elon in order in the seventh. However, the right-hander ran into trouble in the eighth, as the home team plated three runs in the eighth.
With one out, Swim doubled and advanced to third on a single by shortstop Neal Pitchard. Left fielder Matt Hinson followed by breaking up the scoreless contest, with a double off the right field wall to score Swim. After an intentional walk, third baseman Scott Riddle lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to bring home Pitchard for a 2-0 advantage. Second baseman Seth Canipe made it, 3-0, lining a single to left field.
In the ninth, shortstop Matt Williams ripped a 2-1 pitch from Elon closer Thomas Girdwood over the left field wall, his second of the year, to begin the inning. With two outs, first baseman Trey Wimmer walked and second P.J. Jimenez singled to put two Flames aboard. However, Girdwood was able to retire the next batter to close out the Phoenix win.
Giannini falls to 3-3 on the season. The right-hander gave up three runs on four hits, striking out two and walking one.
Ferrer runs his record to 7-4 on the year. He pitched eight scoreless innings, scattering two hits. The right-hander struck out five and walked one, retiring the last 10 batters he faced in the contest. Girdwood records his fifth save. He gave up one run on two hits, striking out one and walking one.
Williams had two hits for the Flames in the contest. Pritchard and Scott had two hits apiece for the Phoenix.
Liberty returns home to start a three-game Big South series with the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Jeff Taylor Scholarship night at Worthington Stadium.