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Liberty Drops Towson, 8-0
For the second straight game, Michael Robertson had three hits and drove in three runs and the Liberty pitching staff recorded its second consecutive shutout, as the Flames defeated the Towson Tigers, 8-0, Saturday in game 3 of The Citadel Challenge at Riley Park.
Robertson, who had three hits and three RBIs in Liberty's 12-0 win over Richmond on Friday, led all hitters in the game with three hits and three RBIs, Saturday. The senior right fielder was 3-for-5 with two doubles and also scored a run in the contest.
Meanwhile, the Liberty pitching staff did not allow a run for the second consecutive game. It is the first time in the 38-year history of the program that the Flames have opened up the year with back-to-back shutouts. In addition, it is the first time since 1996 that the Flames have recorded back-to-back blankings. Liberty defeated Delaware State twice by the identical score of 5-0 at the North Florida Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., on March 12, 1996.
For the second game in a row, the Flames, the visitors on the scoreboard, staked themselves to an advantage in their opening at bat. With two outs in the top of the first inning, Robertson lined a single to right field and moved to second on an errant throw by Towson starter Chris Acker on a pickoff attempt. Catcher Danny Grauer followed with a single to center, plating Robertson with the first run of the contest. The next batter, designated hitter Tyler Cox, ripped a liner which split the left center field gap and one hopped the wall for a double, cashing in Grauer for a 2-0 Liberty advantage.
The Flames added to their lead during the second inning, benefitting from a Tiger error. With one out, third baseman Trey Wimmer dropped an opposite-field double between three fielders along the right field. Two batters later, Towson shortstop Peter Bowles mishandled a grounder by left fielder Ian Parmley, allowing Wimmer to score and give Liberty a 3-0 edge.
In the fourth inning, the Flames extended their advantage by pushing two more runs across. With shortstop Zack Haley and Parmley in scoring position at second and third base with one out, center fielder Andy Smith bounced a run-scoring ground out to second, upping the Liberty lead to 4-0. Robertson followed by lacing a liner off the wall in right center field to bring home Parmley for a 5-0 lead.
The Flames made it, 6-0, in the seventh inning. Second baseman Bryan Aanderud singled home Dalton Sype, who led off the frame with a single.
In the eighth, Robertson drove in the game's final two runs with his second double of the afternoon, upping the Liberty advantage to the final score of 8-0.
The Flames banged out 16 hits, while the Tigers had six in the contest.
Liberty starter Patrick Eckelbarger pitched five scoreless innings to record the victory in his first outing of 2012. The senior right-hander gave up four hits, while striking out four batters and walking one.
Acker takes the loss for Towson. The right-hander allowed five runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Aanderud, Cox, Parmley and Wimmer each had two hits for the Liberty. Left fielder Richie Blosser had two hits for the Tigers.
Later this afternoon, Liberty will face Towson again. First pitch at Riley Park is scheduled for 4 p.m.