Tre Todd hit two home runs, helping the Liberty Flames power past the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, 8-1, in Game 1 of a Big South doubleheader, Friday at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
With his two home runs, Todd becomes the first Flame to hit multiple round trippers in a game this season. The left fielder, who leads Liberty in home runs and RBI, belted his fourth of the season in the fifth inning and his fifth of the year in the eighth.
With the win, Liberty moves to 3-1 in conference play and 12-8 overall. UNC Asheville drops to 2-2 in conference and 5-15 overall.
The Flames led from start to finish in game one. Liberty plated two runs in the second without a hit. The first three batters in the bottom of the inning reached, as Bulldogs starter Greg Gasparro walked two batters and hit another. Catcher Matt Allen then plated designated hitter Andrew Yacyk, who led off the inning with a walk, with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 edge. Three batters later and with the bases again loaded, Trey McDyre was hit by a pitch to force in another run for a 2-0 lead.
Liberty extended its lead with three runs in the fifth. Todd opened the home half of the inning with his first home run of the afternoon for a 3-0 advantage. Later in the frame, right fielder Jonathan Embry walked and stole second with two out. Third baseman Tyler Galazin followed with a single, cashing in Embry to make it 4-0 Flames. Galazin then advanced to second on an infield single by Allen and scored on a RBI single by shortstop Cam Locklear for a 5-0 advantage.
Held scoreless through the first five innings, UNC Asheville broke through for its only run of the contest in the sixth. Shortstop Carmine Pagano led off the inning with a single and moved to second with one out on a single by third baseman Brandon Langford. After a Liberty pitching change, designated hitter Tyler Serricchio walked to load the bases. First baseman Danny Wilson followed with a sacrifice fly, trimming Liberty's edge to four at 5-1.
Liberty added to its advantage in the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Embry, who scored three times in the contest, walked with one out and came around to plate a run on Locklear's second RBI single of the game. In the eighth, the Flames scored runs on Todd's second home run of the game and a RBI double by Yacyk for the final ledger of 8-1.
Liberty starting pitcher Jackson Bertsch evens his record at 2-2. The right-hander allowed one run on five hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six batters and walked one.
Asheville's Gasparro drops to 1-3. The left-hander lasted three innings, giving up two runs on no hits. He struck out four and walked four. He also hit three batters.
The Flames collected seven hits in the game and committed one error. The Bulldogs had six hits and made one error.
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