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Herndon Highlights Liberty's 9-0 Win over James Madison
Right-hander Carson Herndon set the tone with five shutout innings, leading the Liberty Flames to a 9-0 shutout of the James Madison Dukes, Wednesday at Worthington Stadium.
Making his first collegiate start, Herndon faced 16 batters, one more than the minimum 15, over the first five innings. The right-hander gave up the only hit of the game in the fifth inning, striking out five James Madison batters and walking none, to move to 1-0 on the year. It was the longest outing of his Liberty career, as his previous three appearances had been in relief.
Relievers Daniel Brown, Danny Grauer and Ashton Perritt followed to blank the Dukes the rest of the way to record Liberty's program record seventh shutout of the year. The four pitchers allowed only four base runners in the contest and held James Madison to its lowest hit total since April 7, 2006 when they were no hit at Northeastern.
With the victory, Liberty snaps a two-game losing streak and moves to 17-3 on the year. James Madison drops to 5-11-1.
The Flames led from start to finish, jumping on the scoreboard in the home half of the game's opening inning. Left fielder Ian Parmley walked and scored on hit-and-run double by center fielder Andy Smith. Two batters later, designated hitter Tyler Cox delivered Smith with a RBI ground out to make it, 2-0.
Liberty added two more runs in the third inning. With two outs and runners on first and second bases, Cox lined a two-run double into the left-center field gap to up the Flames' advantage to 4-0.
Liberty posted single runs in each inning from the fourth through the eighth. In the fourth, right fielder Ashton Perritt, making his first start of the year, beat out a bunt single with two outs and stole second base, before scoring on a single by shortstop Zack Haley. A RBI ground out by third baseman Josh Richardson in the fifth inning gave the Flames a 6-0 lead.
Liberty pushed across unearned runs in the sixth and seventh inning, while Tony McClendon drove in a run in the eighth with a double for the final score of 9-0.
James Madison starter Nick Slogik, the first of eight pitchers in the game for the Dukes, falls to 0-1. He gave up two runs on one hit and walked one batter during two innings of work on a staff day for James Madison.
Liberty collected its 13th double-digit hit total with 11. Haley, Smith and second baseman Bryan Aanderud had two hits apiece for the Flames. Third baseman Connor Brown had James Madison's lone hit.
Liberty opens Big South Conference play this weekend. The Flames will travel to Clinton, S.C., for a three-game series with the Presbyterian College Blue Hose. The series gets underway at the PC Baseball Complex, Friday at 3 p.m.