Liberty pitchers Dane Beakler, Tim John and Phillip Thompson combined to shut out the Hartford Hawks, 9-0, leading the Flames to a sweep of the three-game weekend series between the two teams, Sunday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.
The shutout moves the Flames to 10-3 on the season, while the Hawks fall to 0-3.
Patrick Gaillard (Jr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) tripled to lead off the first inning and scored on sacrifice fly by Michael Just (Sr., 2B, Woodcliff Lakes, N.J.) as Liberty took a 1-0 lead to open the game.
The Flames then added a run in the fourth inning and two in the fifth to extend their lead. In the fourth, Aaron Grijalva (r-So., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) hit a solo home run, his second of the season, inside the left field foul pole for the Flames' second run, while in the fifth inning, a two-out single by Phillip Laurent (Sr., LF, Cantrall, Ill.) drove in two more runs for a 4-0 advantage.
In the sixth inning, the Flames broke the game open with three more runs. With the base loaded and two out, Chad Miller (Sr., 3B, Wheat Ridge, Colo.) doubled to clear the bases and put Liberty up, 7-0.
The Flames added single runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to close out the scoring. Grijalva tripled to open the inning and scored on an RBI single by P.K. Keller (So., CF, St. Petersburg, Fla.) in the seventh, while in the eighth, Liberty plated a run on Just's second sacrifice fly of the afternoon.
Flames' first baseman Grijalva was 3-for-5 on the afternoon as he came up a single short of hitting for the cycle with a double, triple and home run in the game. Teammate Miller, who had five RBI and scored four runs in the doubleheader between the two teams yesterday, had another good day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a three-run double and stealing his fourth base of the series.
Meanwhile, Liberty starter Beakler (Fr., RHP, York, Pa.) pitched six strong shutout innings to earn his first collegiate win and even his record at 1-1. The right-hander allowed only four hits and struck out two. Tim John (Jr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) allowed one hit and struck out four, in the seventh and eighth innings, while Phillip Thompson (Sr., RHP, Ringgold, Va.) pitched a scoreless ninth. The three Flame pitchers did not walk a batter in the game in recording Liberty's first shutout of the season. Sophomore right-hander Chris Browne took the loss.
Liberty hosts the Virginia Tech Hokies in a single game, Wednesday, at Worthington Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.