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Siena Hands Liberty First Setback in Game Two of Doubleheader
Despite three hits by Bryan Aanderud, the Liberty Flames fell from the ranks of the unbeaten, falling to the Siena Saints, 9-7, in game two of a doubleheader, Saturday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.
Aanderurd, who collected a three-hit game on Friday, went 3-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored in Saturday's contest. It was the Liberty second baseman's third three-hit contest of the year. He leads the Flames with a .500 batting average.
With the contest tied, 5-5, the visiting Saints took the lead in the fourth inning with a run. Siena then held off a Liberty rally in the seventh to record its first win of 2012 and snap the Flames' seven-game winning streak to start the season.
Liberty falls to 7-1 on the year. The Flames' seven-game winning streak is the second-longest to open the season under head coach Jim Toman. Liberty began 2010 by winning nine straight games, en route to a school-record 42 wins. Siena moves to 1-6 on the season and achieves a split of the doubleheader. The Flames took the first game, 1-0.
After being shut out in the opening contest of the doubleheader, the Saints began the nightcap with a run in the top of the first inning. Center fielder Mike Fish gave Siena a short-lived, 1-0 lead by plating the first run of the game with a two-out, run-scoring single.
In the bottom of the inning, Liberty countered with three runs. Left fielder Ian Parmley dropped a single into left field to open the frame. Two batters later, Parmley moved to second base on a fielder's choice grounder by right fielder Michael Robertson. The next batter, designated hitter Tyler Cox, then knotted the contest at 1-1 with an RBI double. Aanderud followed with a run-producing single to give the Flames a 2-1 advantage. Cox made it 3-1, scoring on a groundout by next batter, catcher Trey Wimmer.
In the second inning, both teams scored runs, with Siena scoring four runs in the top of the frame. With the bases loaded and one out, designated hitter John Rooney tripled to clear the bases and put the Saints in front, 4-3. Three batters later, third baseman Mike Allen singled home Allen for a 5-3 advantage.
Liberty pushed a run across in the bottom of the inning. With shortstop Zack Haley on second base with two outs, Robertson lined a run-scoring single to right field, cutting the Siena edge to 5-4.
The Flames tied the contest in their next at bat,. Aanderud singled to begin the bottom of the third inning and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Wimmer. First baseman Ryan Cordell followed with a single, plating Aanderud and tying the contest for the second time, at 5-5.
Siena took the lead for good in its ensuing at bat in the top of the fourth inning. Rooney walked and moved to second on a passed ball. After moving to third on a fly out, the Saints designated hitter gave the visitors a 6-5 edge, scoring on a throwing error by Liberty catcher Wimmer.
In the sixth inning, the two teams exchanged single runs. Siena scored on a groundout by Allen, while Liberty brought home its run on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Andy Smith.
After the Saints added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning, tallying runs on a wild pitch by Flames reliever Patrick Bankemper and an RBI single by Allen, Liberty rallied in the bottom of the frame. Aanderud and Wimmer opened the inning with singles. Cordell followed with an RBI single to cut the Siena lead to what proved to be the final score, 9-7. However, pinch runner Ashton Perritt was thrown out on the single attempting to get back to the second base bag. Reliever Neil Fryer then sealed the Saint win by getting the next batter to bounce into a double play.
Jared Lyons, the second of five Liberty pitchers in the contest, took the loss, falling to 0-1 on the year. Lyons allowed an unearned run over 2 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and walking two batters. The Flames struck out three batters and walked nine in the contest.
Siena reliever Matt Quintana moves to 1-0 on the season. He gave up two runs on three hits over 3 1/3 innings. He struck out one and walked one. Fryer earned the save by closing out Liberty in the seventh inning.
The Flames and the Saints each collected 11 hits in the contest.
Siena and Liberty will met again in the final game of their weekend series, tomorrow at Worthington Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.