Senior Errol Hollinger had two hits in his last game in a Liberty uniform, Saturday.
The No. 3 Liberty Flames were eliminated from the 2009 Big South Championship, falling to the No. 2 seed Winthrop Eagles, 6-1, Saturday afternoon in game 10 of the championship at McCormick Field. Liberty finishes its season at 33-21. The 33 wins give the Flames five straight 30-victory seasons, a first in the 36-year history of the program. In addition, it is the fourth consecutive year the Flames have advanced to the final day of the Big South Championship. Winthrop moved to 35-24 with the victory, and the Eagles later in the afternoon faced No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina for the Big South Championship. Two Winthrop doubles in the second inning chased home the first run of the game. Designated hitter Eddie Rohan sent a two-bagger off the right field wall to open the home half of the frame. After the next two batters were retired, right fielder Sean Sullivan doubled on a 3-2 pitch to left field, cashing in Rohan for a 1-0 Eagle lead. In the next at bat, Winthrop upped its advantage, scoring five two-out runs. With a runner on second and two out in third inning, first baseman Eddie Tisdale lined a single to left for a 2-0 edge. After Rohan walked to advance Tisdale to second base, third baseman Matt Thielepape grounded a single through the middle, plating Rohan with the second run of the frame. An error by Liberty third baseman Kizuku Scott on a hard-hit grounder to third by catcher John Murrian kept the inning alive and allowed a run to score for a 4-0 Eagle lead. Sullivan followed by dropping a single down the right field line to chase home two more runners for a 6-0 Winthrop edge. The Flames got on the scoreboard in the eighth. With two outs, second baseman P.J. Jimenez (Jr., Yucaipa, Calif.) ripped his fifth double of the Big South Championship. Shortstop Matt Williams (Fr., Franklin, Tenn.) followed with a run-scoring single for the final score of 6-1. Liberty starter Cody Brown (Sr., RHP, Cummings, Ga.) completes the season with a 2-4 record. In his last game in a Flames uniform, the senior allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits over 2 2/3 innings. Steven Evans (So., LHP, Amherst, Va.) followed Brown, giving up two runs on three hits over 1 1/3 innings. Senior Andrew Wilson (RHP, Cary, N.C.) pitched 3 2/3 frames in his last game for Liberty, yielding two hits and striking out three Eagles. John Long (RHP, Anderson, S.C.) retired the final batter of the eighth. Winthrop starter Robert Lake moves to 6-3 on the year. He becomes the first Eagle pitcher to go the full nine innings this season, giving up a run on six hits. The right-hander struck out five. Senior catcher Errol Hollinger (Upland, Calif.) playing in his final game in a Liberty uniform, had two of the Flames' six hits in the game. Sullivan led all hitters in the contest with three of Winthrop's 10 hits.
Hollinger and Jimenez were named to the 2009 All-Tournament team at the conclusion of the championship. 2009 Big South All-Tournament team C: Errol Hollinger, Liberty INF: David Anderson, Coastal Carolina (MVP) INF: Eddie Tisdale, Winthrop INF: P.J. Jimenez, Liberty INF: A.J. Yoder, VMI INF: Bryn Henderson, Winthrop OF: Bill Manion, High Point OF: Sean Sullivan, Winthrop OF: Rico Noel, Coastal Carolina DH: Eddie Rohan, Winthrop UTL: Alex Gregory, Radford P: Nick McCully, Coastal Carolina P: Robert Lake, Winthrop P: Austin Fleet, Coastal Carolina