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No. 6 Radford Races Past No. 2 Liberty

May 21, 2008  Danville, Va.  RSS
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Cody Brown had three hits, including a home run Wednesday.

Cody Brown had three hits, including a home run Wednesday.

The No. 6 seed Radford Highlanders raced out to an early advantage and never looked back, en route to a 15-4 victory over the No. 2 seed Liberty Flames, Wednesday afternoon in Game 2 of the 2008 Big South Championship at Dan Daniel Park.

The Flames fall to 31-25-1 overall on the year. The Highlanders improve to 24-30. With the loss, Liberty drops into an elimination game tomorrow against No. 8 seed UNC Asheville at 11 a.m. in the second day of the 2008 Big South Championship at Dan Daniel Park in Danville, Va.

Radford pushed across a run in the first inning to jump out to an early lead. With two outs, first baseman Alex Gregory singled to center field and moved to second base when the next batter, right fielder Reggie Keen, was hit by a pitch. The Highlanders then loaded the bases on a fielding error by Flames second baseman Kenneth Negron (Jr., 2B, Kingwood, Texas) on a ground ball near the second base bag, hit by third baseman Nick Minter. Left fielder Justin Spears followed by drawing a bases loaded walk to force in the first run of the game and give Radford a 1-0 advantage.

The Highlanders added to their edge in the second frame. Catcher Nachion Moore beat out a ground ball deep in the hole between shortstop and third for a single, to open the inning. The catcher advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Will Naylor, and scored on a single up the middle by second baseman Tyren Rivers for a 2-0 lead.

In the third inning, Radford picked up three more runs to stretch its advantage to 5-0. Minter began the uprising with a two-out single and advanced to third on a single by Spears. Shortstop Ben Toth followed with a run-scoring single for the first run of the frame. With runners on the corners, Toth stole second base. Liberty catcher Errol Hollinger (Jr., C., Upland, Calif.) attempted to pick off the runner at third base, but his throw hit the bag and bounded into left field, allowing both Spears and Toth to score.

The Highlanders continued to extend their lead with two more runs in the fourth inning. The first three batters of the inning reached to load the bases. Gregory lifted a sacrifice fly to up the Radford advantage to 6-0. Keen followed with a run-scoring single to make it, 7-0.

Radford plated a single run in the each of the fifth and the sixth inning. Naylor doubled home a run in the fifth, while Toth doubled a run home in the sixth to up the Highlanders' edge to 9-0.

Liberty got on the scoreboard in the seventh inning. Garrett Young (Sr., DH, Fountain Valley, Calif.) walked to open the frame and moved to second on a one-out single by Joseph Feeley (Fr., CF, Chesapeake City, Md.). Aaron Phillips (Sr., SS, Claremore, Okla.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Two batters later, Hollinger lined a bases clearing double into the left field to make it, 9-3 Radford.

The Highlanders added six runs in the eighth inning for a 15-3 edge. Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Calif.) hit a solo home run in the bottom of the frame, tying him for Liberty team lead with eight for the final score of 15-4.

Liberty starter David Stokes (Sr., RHP, Locust Grove, Okla.) takes a loss for the first time in May, falling to 8-5 on the year. The Flames right-hander gave up seven runs, four earned, on 10 hits in four innings of work. He fanned five batters and walked one. Radford starter Adam Hoyt improves to 6-5. The southpaw allowed three runs on six hits, walking three over seven innings.