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Liberty Scorches VCU, 11-1
Liberty third baseman Tyler Bream hit a two-run home run and drove in three runs and left fielder Doug Bream had three RBIs in an 11-1 Flames victory over the VCU Rams, Tuesday afternoon at the Diamond.
With the win, Liberty moves to 15-11 on the year. VCU falls to 9-15 on the season.
The visiting Flames jumped onto the scoreboard in their opening at bat, benefitting from a Ram miscue. Center fielder Ian Parmley drew a leadoff walk and then moved into scoring position along with Casey Rasmus. The Liberty catcher's sacrifice bunt was thrown wide of the first base bag and down the right field line by VCU pitcher Blake Hauser. Two batters later, Doug Bream singled sharply to left field to plate Parmley with the first run of the afternoon. Tyler Bream followed with a sacrifice fly to deep left field, scoring Rasmus to give Liberty an early 2-0 lead.
Liberty and VCU exchanged single runs in the third inning. The Flames added to their lead with back-to-back two-out doubles in the top of the inning. Shortstop Matt Williams roped a pitch over the head of VCU left fielder John Lenher and off the wall with two away. Doug Bream followed by scorching an offering into the right field corner. In the bottom of the inning, the host Rams got on the scoreboard. With two men aboard and two out, right fielder Michael Cheatham singled to right field to make it, 3-1 Liberty.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Flames extended their advantage. With one out, Rasmus walked, moved to second base on a wild pitch and stole third base. Two batters later, Doug Bream grounded into a fielder's choice, plating Rasmus with the first run of the inning. Tyler Bream followed by blasting the second pitch of his at bat over the left field wall for his second home run of the year, giving Liberty a 6-1 lead.
The Flames broke open the game in their next at bat. Once again, Liberty took advantage of a VCU error to strike for a run. Designated hitter Marcus Grimaldi opened the sixth inning by reaching on a fielding error by second baseman Paul Nice. After the Liberty designated hitter moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by first baseman Jeff Jefferson, second baseman Austin Taylor lined a single into left field to cash in the runner.
Taylor moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and, two batters later, came around to score on a single by Rasmus. Williams followed with a RBI single and Rasmus upped the Liberty lead to 10-1, plating a run after stealing third base and coming home on a throwing error by Ram catcher Kyle Sutherland.
Liberty added a single run in the seventh for the final score of 11-1. Jefferson provided the RBI single.
On a staff day for the Flames, starter Garrett Baker runs his record to 3-0 on the season. The left-hander allowed one run on six hits in four innings, striking out three batters and walking one. Right-hander Jacob Kemmerer followed with two innings of scoreless relief. Patrick Eckelbarger, Ryan Cordell, Willi Martin and Bryan Cole closed out the victory for Liberty.
VCU starter Blake Hauser falls to 0-2 on the year. The sophomore right-hander, the first of four Ram pitchers in the contest, was roughed up for eight runs on seven hits. He struck out two batters and walked three.
Rasmus had three hits and scored three runs for Liberty, which had 12 hits in the game. Doug and Tyler Bream along with Williams and Grimaldi had two hits each.
Cheatham had three hits for VCU. The Rams had 11 hits in the contest.
Liberty travels to Coastal Carolina this weekend for a three-game Big South series. First pitch for the opening game of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m.