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Liberty Win Streak Comes to End
Despite rallying in the ninth inning, the Liberty Flames had their nine-game winning streak snapped, falling to the St. John's Red Storm, 3-1, Sunday at Worthington Stadium.
Liberty drops to 16-2 on the year. The Flames tied the Liberty Division I record for consecutive wins with their seventh win in a row, which came Saturday. After losing the first three games of the series, St. John's salvaged the final game to move to 5-9.
Second baseman Sean O'Hare gave the visiting Red Storm an advantage in the third inning. O'Hare led off the frame with his second home run of the year for a 1-0 lead.
Liberty moved a runner into scoring position in the fifth inning, but was unable to score. Left fielder Ian Parmley walked to open the frame and advanced to third base with two outs. However, St. John's reliever Stephen Rivera retired the next hitter to end the threat.
St. John's added to its lead in the seventh. Shortstop Matt Wessinger led off the inning with a single and moved to second base, when center fielder Martin Kelly drew a base on balls. O'Hare followed with a RBI double, upping the Red Storm edge to 2-0.
In the top of the ninth, St. John's posted an insurance run. A bases-loaded single by designated hitter Robert Case extended the visitors' advantage to 3-0.
After being held to two hits over the first eight innings, the Flames rallied in the bottom of the ninth. With one out, shortstop Zack Haley lined a double off the left field wall and moved to third on a bunt single by Parmley. Two batters later, right fielder Michael Robertson singled with two outs to plate Haley, cutting Liberty's deficit to 3-1. However, St. John's reliever James Lomangino retired the next batter to end the rally and close out the Flames.
Liberty starter Jacob Kemmerer takes the loss to fall to 2-1 on the season. The right-hander allowed two runs on two hits over 6 2/3 innings. The senior struck out four batters and walked two.
St. John's reliever Stephen Rivera moves to 1-0. Taking over for starter Eddie Medina in the fifth, Rivera did not allow a run or a hit over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four batters and did not walk one. Lomangino finished for the Red Storm, recording his third save of the year. He gave up one run on four hits over 1 1/3 innings. He struck out one batter.
Hits were at a premium in the contest, as both teams collected five each. O'Hare was the only player in the contest with two hits.
Liberty left 12 men on base, while St. John's stranded seven.
The Flames continue their home stand, Tuesday. Liberty will host Bryant at Worthington Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.