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Liberty Drops James Madison, 5-1
The Liberty Flames built a 5-0 lead through the first five innings and never looked back, en route to a 5-1 win over the James Madison Dukes, Tuesday evening at Worthington Stadium.
Left fielder Ian Parmley had three hits and first baseman Alex Close hit his sixth home run of the year for the Flames in the contest. It was Parmley's third three-hit game of the year. The senior also stole two bases and scored a run to move his nation-leading total to 44 runs scored.
Liberty improves to 28-8 on the year, winning its second meeting with James Madison this season. James Madison falls to 9-23-1.
In the home half of the third, the Flames staked themselves to a 2-0 advantage. Parmley opened the inning with single, stole second base and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Zack Haley. Second baseman Bryan Aanderud plated the Liberty left fielder with a RBI ground out for a 1-0 lead. Designated hitter Danny Grauer and Close followed with singles, and Grauer scored on a single by right fielder Josh Richardson for a 2-0 edge.
Liberty added to its advantage with a run in the fourth. With one out, center fielder Ashton Perritt reached on a bunt single and moved to second base on a bunt single by Parmley. After advancing to third base on a fly out, Perritt scored on a wild pitch by James Madison reliever Trent Cundiff to make it, 3-0 Flames.
In the fifth, Liberty extended its lead with two more runs. Close began the inning with a home run over the right field wall for a 4-0 advantage. After the next batter Richardson walked, catcher Trey Wimmer doubled to put two runners in scoring position. Third baseman Dalton Sype then lined a run-scoring single into right field, giving Liberty a 5-0 lead.
The visiting Dukes pushed across their lone run in the sixth. A two-out double by third baseman Conner Brown scored catcher Nick Mercuillo, who was hit by a pitch, for what proved to be the final score of 5-1.
Four Liberty pitchers combined to hold James Madison to one run on three hits. Flames starter Brook Roy moves to 4-0 on the season. The right-hander allowed one run on one hit over the first four innings. He struck out three batters and walked one.
Starter Ben Garner, the first of five James Madison pitchers in the contest, drops to 0-2 on the season. Garner gave up two runs on six hits over 2 2/3 innings. He struck out one batter and walked one.
Liberty collected 13 hits in the contest. Besides Parmley and Close's multi-hit games, Grauer recorded his first multiple-hit game of the year with two hits.
Liberty now travels to Rock Hill, S.C., this weekend for a three-game Big South series with the Winthrop Eagles. Game for the series opener is scheduled for 6 p.m., Friday at the Winthrop Ballpark. The contest will be the first of a season-long nine-game road swing for the Flames.