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Clowers' Relief Appearance Keys Liberty Victory
Shawn Clowers shut down Siena over the final five innings, as the Liberty Flames defeated the Saints, 4-2, Sunday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.
With the Liberty trailing 2-0, Clowers took over the mound for the Flames in the top of the fifth and handcuffed Siena the rest of the way, pitching five no-hit, scoreless innings. The left-hander allowed only one baserunner during his five frames of relief, enabling the Flames to erase their deficit and record the win. Clowers earned his first collegiate victory, moving to 1-0 on the season. He sent down the Saints in order in four out his five innings, striking out two batters and walking one.
Shortstop Zack Haley recorded his first three-hit game of the year for the Flames by going 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
Liberty moves to 8-1 on the year. Siena drops to 1-7 on the season. The Flames took three out of four games between the two teams on the weekend. Liberty and Siena had never met on the baseball diamond before this series.
The Flames left five runners in scoring position during the first two innings. In the first inning, Liberty left the bases loaded, while in the second, the Flames stranded runners at second and third.
Siena, which was retired in order in each of the first two innings by Liberty starter Trey Lambert, plated its only two runs of the contest in the third inning. First baseman Ken Kirshner led off the frame with a triple and scored on an infield single by shortstop Ryan Metzler for a 1-0 advantage. Later in the inning, the Saints made it, 2-0, on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Kyle Baldani.
After leaving eight men on bases through the first five innings, the Flames broke through in the sixth, tying the contest. Catcher Trey Wimmer and first baseman Ryan Cordell opened the home half of the sixth inning with a singles. After both runners were moved into scoring position at second and third base on a bunt by third baseman Dalton Sype, Haley ripped a single to left field to scored Wimmer with Liberty's first run of the afternoon. Left fielder Ian Pamley followed with a run-producing sacrifice fly to knot the game at 2-2.
In the seventh inning, the Flames took the lead for good. With two outs, Wimmer singled to center field and advanced all the way to third base on throwing error by Siena shortstop Metzler on a ground ball by Liberty first baseman Ryan Cordell. The next batter, Sype, quickly cashed in Wimmer with a single to give the Flames a 3-2 advantage. Haley followed with a RBI single for what proved to be the final score of 4-2.
Lambert, making his first collegiate start, did not figure in the decision. He gave up two runs on two hits over four innings. The freshman struck out two batters and walked two.
Reliever Jim Meindl takes the loss to fall to 0-2 on the year. The sixth of seven Siena pitchers in the contest, Meindel allowed two runs on three hits over 1 1/3 innings.
Liberty collected 10 hits in the game. Lambert and Clowers combined to hold Siena to two hits on the afternoon. The Flames left 12 runners on base, while the Saints left three men on base.
Liberty travels to Charlottesville, Va., to face the Virginia Cavaliers. First pitch at UVa's Davenport Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.