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Williams' 12th Inning Homer the Difference in 3-2 Win
Shortstop Matt Williams hit a home run leading off the 12th inning to propel the Liberty Flames past the Le Moyne Dolphins, 3-2, Friday night in the second game of the Liberty Tournament at Worthington Stadium.
Liberty moves to 23-19 on the season. The win snaps a two-game skid for the Flames. Le Moyne drops to 14-26. The Dolphins had defeated New Orleans earlier in the day at Worthington Stadium, 9-2.
With the score tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 12th inning, Williams belted the first offering from Dolphin pitcher Ed Kohout over the left field wall for the 3-2 victory. The home run was the shortstop's team-leading fifth of the year.
In the game's opening inning, the Flames staked themselves to an early 1-0 lead. Center fielder Ian Parmley led off the home half of the first inning with a double into the left field corner. Right fielder Michael Robertson followed by lining a two-base hit into the exact same corner for a quick Liberty edge.
Le Moyne answered in the top of the second inning, taking advantage of a Flames miscue. Shortstop Ryan Mahoney reached on a throwing error by Liberty third baseman Tyler Bream to open the inning. After advancing to second on a ground out, Mahoney scored on a double to the base of the right field wall by designated hitter Brian Stinson, tying the game at 1-1.
Both teams exchanged single runs in the fourth inning. Le Moyne went in front in the top of the frame on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Matt Marra. Liberty knotted the game at 2-2 in the bottom inning, as first baseman Austin Taylor singled with one out, and later scored on a squeeze bunt by second baseman Zach Haley.
The Flames loaded the bases in the fifth inning with two outs against Dolphin starter Jeff Tardiff, but were turned away. In the seventh, Liberty also moved a runner to third base with two outs, but again was kept off the scoreboard by Tardiff.
In the 10th, both teams had changes to plate a run. Le Moyne had center fielder Brett Botsford thrown out at home with one out in the top of the inning on a ground ball to Haley at second base against a drawn in infield. In the bottom of the inning, Bream, who led off the frame with a single, was able to advance to third with two outs. Catcher Casey Rasmus ripped a liner back through the middle, which Kohout knocked down and threw out Rasmus to end the inning.
Liberty starter Steven Evans did not figure in the decision, giving up two runs on six hits over eight innings. He struck out eight batters, moving him into second place on the school's career strikeout list with 244. Mike Brown holds the Liberty career mark with 287 strikeouts from 1994-97. Evans walked one batter.
Mark Swanson picks up the win to move to 2-1 on the year. The senior right-hander pitched four scoreless innings of relief, allowing three hits. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Le Moyne's Tardiff matched Evans, yielding two runs on eight hits over seven innings. The Dolphin right-hander struck out five batters and walked four. Kohout drops to 1-6. The reliever gave up one run on three hits, striking out four batters over four-plus innings.
The Flames totaled 11 hits in the contest and left 12 men on base. Bream led all hitters in the game with three hits for Liberty. Rasmus added two hits in his return to the Flames' line-up. Le Moyne had nine hits in the game. Marra had two hits for the Dolphins.
Liberty will square off with the New Orleans Privateers tomorrow afternoon in game three of the Liberty Tournament at Worthington Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.