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Liberty Falls to No. 4 Coastal Carolina
No. 4 Coastal Carolina used timely hitting, while holding the Liberty bats in check, en route to a 5-0 victory over the Flames, Sunday in the final game of a three-game Big South Conference contest at Worthington Stadium.
Liberty drops to 18-6 in conference play and 37-15 overall. Coastal Carolina moves to 23-0 in the Big South and 45-6.
After Liberty starter Dustin Umberger struck out the side to open the contest, the Flames placed runners on the corners with one out in the bottom of the frame against Coastal Carolina starter Josh Conway. However, the threat was squelched on an outstanding defensive play by Chanticleer first baseman Rich Whitten, who snared second baseman's P.J. Jimenez liner and tagged first base for a double play ending the inning.
Coastal Carolina struck for the game's first run in the second. Second baseman Tommy La Stella singled leading off the inning and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Taylor Motter. Left fielder Chance Gilmore followed with a run-scoring double off the left-center field wall for a 1-0 advantage.
The Chanticleers added to their lead with a run in the third inning. With one out, center fielder Rico Noel doubled to left field and scored on a single by third baseman Scott Woodward.
In the fourth, Coastal Carolina once again used a double and single to extend its advantage. With one out, Gilmore doubled off the left-center field wall. Whitten followed with an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
The Chanticleers added insurance in the top of the ninth. Motter doubled with the bases loaded to drive in two runs, upping the Coastal Carolina lead to the final score of 5-0.
Liberty starter Umberger takes the loss to fall to 2-3 on the year. The right-hander, starting his last home game as Flame, gave up three runs on seven hits over 3 1/3 innings.
Coastal Carolina starter Josh Conway moves to 2-0 on the season. He allowed two hits over five innings of work.
Third baseman Tyler Bream had two hits for the Flames. Woodward, La Stella and Gilmore had two hits apiece for the Chanticleers.
Before the game, the 10 seniors on the Liberty roster were recognized. Umberger and Jimenez were honored, along with Zane Bator, Dane Beakler, Casey Brown, Carter Browning, Kenneth Negron, Curran Redal, Nathan Thompson and Shawn Teufel.
Liberty will play its last home game of the regular season at Worthington Stadium, Tuesday night. The Flames will host the VCU Rams. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.