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Liberty Downs Old Dominion, 12-6
The Liberty Flames led from start to finish, defeating the Old Dominion Monarchs, 12-6, Wednesday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.
Designated hitter Tyler Cox drove in a season-high five runs in the contest. It is the second time this season the junior has had five RBIs in a game. Cox drove in two runs in the first inning and three more in the second with his team-leading fourth home run of the year. A season-high for the junior, the designated hitter also drove in five runs in Liberty's 12-3 win over Towson on Feb. 18 at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C.
Liberty improves to 21-3 on the year, as the Flames have won five straight contests. Old Dominion falls to 8-12.
Liberty, which is 17-0 when scoring first, jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the game's opening inning. Left fielder Ian Parmley and center fielder Andy Smith opened the frame with back-to-back singles and scored on a one-out single by Cox. Two batters later, catcher Trey Wimmer lined a two-out double down the left field line to score the designated hitter.
The Flames added three more in the second inning, courtesy of Cox. Shortstop Zack Haley started the frame with a double and second baseman Bryan Aanderud walked, before the junior's blast over the left-center field wall gave Liberty a 6-0 lead.
In the fourth, Liberty tacked on two more runs. Haley stole home for the first run of the inning, while Parmley plated the second run when Monarch center fielder Kenneth Belgrave mishandled a double by Aanderud.
Old Dominion pushed a run across in the top of the fifth. Right fielder Ben Verlander singled with one out and later scored on a throwing error by Haley.
In the bottom of the inning, the Flames extended their advantage to 12-1, with more four runs. Parmley plated two runs with a double and Smith added a tally with a sacrifice fly. Aanderud followed with a RBI single.
The Monarchs sliced into the Liberty lead in the top of the sixth, scoring five runs. After scoring a run on a single by third baseman Ben Frazier, Old Dominion benefitted from a Flames error with two outs, leading to four additional runs. Shelton drew a walk with the bases loaded to force in a run, followed by a bases-loaded infield single by outfielder Josh Eldridge to make it, 12-4, Liberty. Left fielder Drew Coker and shortstop Josh Wright were then hit by pitches with the bases loaded, adding two more runs, trimming the Flames lead to 12-6.
Liberty right-hander Carson Herndon moves to 2-0 on the year. On a staff day for both teams, Herndon did not allow a run over the first three innings, striking out two batters and walking two.
Old Dominion starter Conner Overton drops to 0-2. He was roughed up for six runs on eight hits over three innings. He struck out one batter and walked one.
Liberty had 15 hits in the contest. Aanderud led all batters in the game with three hits. It is the sixth game this year in which the junior has collected three or more hits. Old Dominion recorded seven hits in the game, with no player having more than one.
Liberty will host the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs this weekend for a three-game Big South series. The series gets underway, Friday at 7 p.m. with the first night game of the season at Worthington Stadium.