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Liberty Downs James Madison, 12-1
Second baseman Bryan Aanderud had three hits and two RBIs, helping the Liberty Flames defeated the James Madison Dukes, 12-1, Tuesday at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
Aanderud went 3-for-4 with a double, driving in two runs. The second baseman's eighth three-hit contest of the season raises his batting average to a team-leading .395.
Liberty sweeps all three meetings with James Madison this season, moving to 33-12. The contest completed the longest road swing of the year for the Flames where the team finished 5-4. James Madison drops to 13-27-1.
Liberty jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening inning, taking advantage of wildness on the part of James Madison starting pitcher Nick Slogik. Left fielder Ian Parmley walked and both center fielder Ryan Cordell and Aanderud were hit by a pitch to open the frame. Designated hitter Tyler Cox followed by ripping a double inside the third base bag and down the left field line to plate two runners for an early edge.
In the bottom of the inning, James Madison loaded the bases with two outs against Liberty starter Trey Lambert. But, Lambert got third baseman Chad Carroll to bounce out to prevent the Dukes from getting on the scoreboard.
James Madison cut into Liberty's edge in the second with a run. Second baseman Tyler Duke opened the inning with a double to the warning track in center field. Two batters later, he scored on a ground out by center fielder Ian Haynes to trim the Flames' advantage to 2-1.
Liberty extended its lead with two runs in the fourth. With two out and two men aboard, shortstop Zack Haley lined a double off the left field wall, cashing in both runners for a 4-1 advantage.
First baseman Alex Close stretched the Flames lead in the fifth. With Cox aboard after a walk, Close blasted his eighth home run of the year out into the parking lot behind the left field fence, giving Liberty a 6-1 advantage.
The Flames tacked on two more runs in the sixth. With one out, Haley sent a double into the left corner and later scored on a single by Parmley. Two batters later, Aanderud lined a double into the left field corner, plating Parmley for an 8-1.
Liberty pushed across a run for the fourth straight inning in the seventh, scoring on a wild pitch by Duke's reliever Luke Munson.
The Flames added three runs in the ninth on a fielder's choice by Parmley, a RBI double by Cordell and a RBI double by Aanderud for the final score of 12-1.
On a staff day, Lambert records the victory to move to 2-0 on the season. The Flames used seven pitchers during the game, combining to allow a run on seven hits.
Slogik falls to 0-5 on the year. He gave up six runs on four hits over 4 2/3 innings, striking one and walking three batters.
Liberty now returns home on Thursday night to open a three-game Big South series with the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. First pitch at Worthington Stadium on Thursday is scheduled for 7 p.m.