Liberty second baseman Andrew Kowalo hit a three-run home run, helping the Flames post an 8-4 win over the Tribe of William & Mary in their home opener at Liberty Baseball Stadium, Tuesday.
Kowalo collected two hits, both for extra bases. The second baseman doubled to go along with his first home run as a Flame in the victory. All four of Kowalo's hits have gone for extra bases to start 2016 (three doubles and home run).
Shortstop Dalton Britt and Sammy Taormina also had two hits each for Liberty. Britt drove in a run with a double and Taormina scored twice in the contest.
Liberty evens it record at 2-2. William & Mary drops to 2-2. The game was originally scheduled to be played at William & Mary. However, it was moved to Lynchburg due to field conditions at the Tribe's Pulmeri Park.
With the victory, Flames head coach Jim Toman moves to within one win of 300 for his career.
William & Mary jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the top of the third. Shortstop Kyle Wrighte singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to third, left fielder Ryan Hall doubled, plating Wrighte with the first run of the contest. Center fielder Josh Smith followed with a run-scoring single for a 2-0 advantage. Three batters later, designated hitter Jason Waldman lined a two-out, RBI single through the right side of the infield for a 3-0 edge.
Liberty answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Kowalo lined a double into the left-center field gap. Center fielder D.J. Artis followed with a triple to the bottom of the center field wall, plating Kowalo with the Flames' first run of the contest. Third baseman Dylan Allen then reached on a throwing error, scoring Artis to cut the Tribe's advantage to 3-2.
Left fielder Andrew Yacyk followed with a RBI double and scored on a double by Britt for a 4-3 lead.
Liberty reliever Geoffrey Murphy then came on to hold William & Mary scoreless over the next three innings. Murphy did not allow a hit during his relief appearance, allowing two batters to reach on walks.
Kowalo extended the Flames' advantage to 7-3 in the sixth. Taormina opened the bottom half of the frame with a single and moved to second on a bunt by right fielder Will Shepherd. Pinch hitter Austin Bream followed with a single to put runners on the corners with one out. Kowalo then belted a 1-2 pitch over the left field wall to give Liberty a four-run advantage.
Both teams scored in the eighth. The Tribe plated a run on a sacrifice fly by Hall. The Flames plated a run on a double by Taormina and single by catcher Josh Latta, who entered the contest in the top of the seventh for the final score of 8-4.
Shane Quarterley picks up his first victory as a Flame, moving to 1-0. The third of seven Liberty pitchers, he gave up one run on three hits in 2/3 inning.
William & Mary starting pitcher Bodie Sheehan falls to 0-1. He gave up four runs on six hits, striking out three and walking one.
Liberty outhit William & Mary, 12-8. Flames' pitching stranded 11 Tribe baserunners.
The Flames next travel to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for the 2016 Baseball at the Beach tournament. Liberty will open the tournament with the first of its four games during the weekend against Marshall at Springs Brooks Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for noon.