Landon Riley pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings, recording the victory, Saturday.
The No. 2 seed Liberty Flames scored five times in the sixth and received an outstanding pitching effort from reliever Landon Riley to eliminate the No. 4 seed Jacksonville Dolphins 5-2, Saturday afternoon at Melching Field and Conrad Park in Game 9 of the ASUN Baseball Championship. With the victory, Liberty advances to the league's title game in its first year in the conference.
Trailing 2-0, the Flames erupted for five runs on six hits in the sixth inning.
Riley, who entered the contest in the fifth inning, shut down the Dolphins' bats over the final three innings to close out the Liberty victory.
Liberty moves to 40-19 and advances to face the No. 6 seed Stetson Hatters for the ASUN title in Game 10 at 3 p.m. Jacksonville's season comes to an end with a 32-27 mark.
Box Score Highlights Records: Jacksonville (32-27); Liberty (40-19) Location: DeLand, Fla. (Melching Field at Conrad Park) WP: Landon Riley (2-0) | LP: Tyler Santana (4-4)
Scoring Summary JU – 5th INNING - Hefron singles, Hunter and Southern scores, 2-0 LIBERTY – 6th INNING - Betts grounds out, Rohrer scores, 2-1 LIBERTY – 6th INNING – Mathieu singles, Guy scores, 2-2 LIBERTY – 6th INNING – Wagner doubles, Embry scores, 3-2 LIBERTY – 6th INNING – Galazin singles, Mathieu scores, 4-2 LIBERTY – 6th INNING – Locklear singles, Wagner scores, 5-2
Notable Numbers - Liberty collected 10 hits in the contest. Jacksonville was held to three. Neither team committed an error.
- Three Flames had two hits and a RBI in the contest. Third baseman Tyler Galazin posted his second multi-hit game of the ASUN Baseball Championship and his team-leading 19th of the season. Shortstop Cam Locklear recorded his 18th, while first baseman Logan Mathieu recorded his 16th multi-hit game of the season.
- Riley entered the game with two men on in the fifth and went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings, the longest outing of his career. The sophomore gave up three hits, striking out two. He did not walk a batter in recording the victory.
- Starting for only the second time this season, Liberty's Garret Price allowed two runs on no hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two. The right-hander left with runners at second and third and two out in the fifth inning.
- The four pitchers in the contest combined to walk just one batter.
Turning Point Held to just one hit through the first five innings, Liberty sent 10 men to the plate in the sixth, scoring five runs on six hits to take the lead. Right-fielder Brandon Rohrer singled and center fielder Jaylen Guy doubled to open the bottom half of the inning. A ground out by left fielder Gray Betts plated Rohrer with the Flames' first run of the contest, cutting the Dolphins advantage to 2-1.
Two batters later, Mathieu lined a bases loaded single into center to tie the game. Second baseman Will Wagner followed with a RBI double to give the Flames a 3-2 lead. Liberty went on to tack on two more runs for a 5-2 advantage it never relinquished.
Beyond the Box Score - Liberty advances to a conference title game for the ninth time in program history and its first under head coach Scott Jackson.
- The Flames reach 40 wins in a season for the first time under Jackson and the fifth time in program history. Liberty also won 40 or more games in 1983, 2010, 2012 and 2014.
- No. 2 seed Liberty vs. No. 6 seed Stetson in the ASUN title game is the first No. 6 seed vs. No. 2 seed matchup in the contest since 2003.
- With a single in the seventh inning, ASUN Player of the Year Jonathan Embry extends his consecutive game hitting streak to a career-high 12 games. The catcher ties second baseman Will Wagner for the longest hitting streak by a Flame this season.
- Third baseman Tyler Galazin has reached base safely in 15 consecutive games. The senior has had at least one hit in in 12 of his last 13 contests.
- Left fielder Gray Betts saw his reached base streak come to end at 33 consecutive games. The streak was the longest by a Flame this season.
Up Next The No. 2 seed Flames will square off with ASUN Baseball Championship host and No. 6 seed Stetson Hatters in the title game at 3 p.m. Liberty must win in order to force an if necessary game, tomorrow.
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