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Evans Shuts Out Asheville in Game One
Liberty left-hander Steven Evans pitched the first shutout of his career, leading the Flames to a 3-0 victory over the UNC Asheville Bulldogs in game one of a Big South doubleheader, Saturday on Jeff Taylor Memorial Day at Worthington Stadium.
With its sixth-straight win, Liberty moves to 14-6 in the Big South Conference and 28-19 overall. UNC Asheville falls to 7-13 in conference play and 15-27 overall.
After a shaky first inning, no Asheville runner got further than second base against Evans during the next eight innings. The senior settled in and shut down the Bulldogs, running his record to 5-3 on the year. The left-hander scattered four hits, while going the full nine innings for the second time this season and the sixth time in his career. The left-hander struck out eight batters and walked one.
The win was the 24th of the senior's career, moving him into a tie for second place on Liberty's all-time victory list with Tim Harrell (1995-98) and David Harris (1979-83). In addition, with nine innings of work, Evans moves into fourth all-time at Liberty with 301 1/3 innings pitched. The left-hander passes Tim Harrell on the program's innings pitched list. Harrell pitched 300 innings for the Flames from 1995-98.
The first inning was the only time the Bulldogs threatened to put runs on the scoreboard against Evans in the contest. With one out, center fielder Danny Baatz singled and designated hitter Grant Gajdosz was hit by a pitch. The next batter, right fielder Mike Vaughan walked to load bases. However, Evans battled back, getting catcher Ian Graham to lined out to center fielder and left fielder Brian Zinman to ground out to strand the runners.
The Flames plated the only run Evans needed in the game in the third inning. With one out, second baseman Zack Haley reached on a throwing error by Bulldog shortstop Catlin Carter and scored as center fielder Ian Parmley followed with an opposite-field double into the left field corner for a 1-0 advantage.
Liberty extended its lead with a run in the sixth inning. Parmley led off the inning with his second double of the game, lining a two-base hit into the right field corner. After moving to third base on a ground out by right fielder Michael Robertson, shortstop Matt Williams drove in Parmley with a sharply-hit single to left field for a 2-0 lead.
In the seventh inning, catcher Casey Rasmus added an insurance run, blasting a solo home run over the right field wall. The round tripper was the catcher's third home run of the season, as the Flames went on to the 3-0 win.
Asheville starter Grier Harrington falls to 3-8 on the season. Harrington gave up three runs on six hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters and walked one.
Liberty had seven hits in the contest. Parmley led all hitters by going 3-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored in the game. Carter had two hits for the Bulldogs.