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No. 3 Seed Liberty Advances with 10-3 Win

May 20, 2009  Asheville, N.C.  RSS
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P.J. Jimenez drove in four runs in Liberty's victory, Wednesday.

P.J. Jimenez drove in four runs in Liberty's victory, Wednesday.

The No. 3 seed Liberty Flames took the lead with three runs in the fourth inning and never looked back, downing the No. 4 seed Radford Highlanders, 10-3, in game three of the 2009 Big South Championship, Wednesday night at McCormick Field.

Liberty moves to 32-19 on the season and advances to play the No. 6 seed High Point Panthers, 7-4 winners over Winthrop earlier in the day, tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. Radford drops to 25-23 on the year and will meet No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m.

The contest opened with each team plating runs in the opening inning. The Highlanders pushed across the first run of the game in the top of the frame. With one out, right fielder Reggie Keen doubled to the wall in straightaway center field. Shortstop Jeff Kemp followed with a seeing-eye single through the middle of the infield to score Keen, giving Radford a 1-0 advantage.

The Highlander edge was short-lived, as the Flames, the home team on the scoreboard, took over the lead in the bottom of the inning. Shortstop Matt Williams (Fr., Franklin, Tenn.) led off the Liberty first with a single through the right side of the infield and moved to second on a walk to center fielder Curran Redal (Jr., Moses Lake, Wash.). The next batter, designated hitter Doug Bream (So., Elizabethtown, Pa.), brought home Williams with the first Flames run of the contest by bouncing a double down the left field line. Left fielder Jeff Jefferson (So., Danville, Va.) followed with a RBI grounder to score Redal from third base, putting Liberty on top, 2-1.

The advantage in the contest once again changed hands in the top of the second inning. Third baseman Nick Minter and catcher Robert Lamas opened the frame with back-to-back singles. The next batter, designated hitter Will Naylor, made it three straight singles, plating Minter to tie the game at 2-2. After both runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by left fielder Mario Duarte, second baseman Brett Mollenhauer lifted a sacrifice fly to score Lamas for a 3-2 Highlander edge.

In the fourth, Liberty used four base hits to go back in front for good. With one out, catcher Errol Hollinger (Sr., Upland, Calif.) laced a liner off the right center field wall for a double. Liberty runners then moved to the corners, as right fielder Casey Brown (Jr., Bakersfield, Calif.) singled. Third baseman Kizuku Scott (Fr., Hampton, Va.) followed by ripping a single to left field, scoring Hollinger and knotting the game at 3-3. Two batters later, second baseman P.J. Jimenez (Jr., Yucaipa, Calif.) sent a liner high off the wall in right, plating Brown and Scott for the Flames' second lead of the night, 5-3.

Liberty's Jefferson added to his team's advantage in the fifth. The left fielder upped the Flame lead to 6-3 with his seventh home run of the year, a blast which easily cleared the 20-foot wall in left field.

In the seventh, Liberty put the game away by batting around in the inning, plating four runs. First-team All-Big South outfielder Redal led off the frame by ripping a ball off the top of the 37-foot right field wall for a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. On a wild pitch on a swinging third strike to the next batter, Cody Brown (UTIL, Cummings, Ga.), Radford catcher Lamas threw wide of first base, allowing Redal to score. After Hollinger singled to move Cody Brown to third base, Casey Brown singled to score the Liberty catcher for an 8-3 edge. Later in the inning, Jimenez singled sharply with the bases loaded and two out, cashing in two more runs for the final score of 10-3.

Liberty starter Shawn Teufel (Jr., Tequesta, Fla.) settled in after giving runs up over the first two frames to run his season's record to 9-2. The 2009 Big South all-conference first team pitcher allowed three runs on 10 hits during seven innings of work. He struck out five and walked one.

Radford starter Shane Pysh falls to 3-4. He allowed five runs on six hits over 3 2/3 innings, striking out two and walking three.

Hollinger, Casey Brown and Jimenez each had two hits for the Flames. Jimenez led all players in the contest with four RBIs. Kemp had three hits for the Highlanders.