The Liberty Flames connected for three home runs and starter Michael Solbach allowed no earned runs over eight innings as the Flames defeated the George Washington Colonials, 7-1, Friday afternoon in the first of a three-game series at Barcroft Park.
With its fifth straight win, Liberty ups its record to 12-3 on the season, while George Washington drops to 4-8. The Flames have won 10 of their last 11.
Liberty led from start to finish as the Flames opening the scoring in the first inning. Patrick Gaillard (Jr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) led off the frame with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and then stole third base. Aaron Grijalva (r-So., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) then plated Gaillard with a two-out double to right for a 1-0 advantage.
Up 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning, Phillip Laurent (Sr., LF, Cantrall, Ill.) led off the frame with a solo home run to right, his third of the season, and Derek Bennion (r-Jr., RF, Snohomish, Wash.) later followed with his first round tripper of the year, a two-run shot over the left field wall, to give Liberty a 4-0 advantage.
In the fifth inning, the Colonials pushed across their lone run of the afternoon. Bryan Hwang walked with two outs and advanced to second on a wild pitch. He then scored on an error by the Flames' first baseman.
An RBI single from Michael Just (Sr., 2B, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) followed by a two-run homer by Grijalva, his third of the year, in the seventh inning finished off the Colonials, 7-1.
Grijalva was 2-for-5 with a double, home run and three RBI in the game. Just and Laurent also had two hits and drove in a run each for the Flames.
Solbach (r-So., RHP, Woodbridge, Va.) allowed no earned runs on four hits, while striking out seven and walking four in eight innings to run his record to 3-0 on the season. The right-hander won back-to-back outings for the first time this season. Tim John (Jr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Liberty.
George Washington starter Dan Pfau took the loss to fall 1-2, allowing four runs on seven hits, while striking out eight in 6.0 innings.
No Colonial recorded more than one hit in the game and designated hitter Andrew Abokhair produced the only extra base hit with a fourth inning double.
The Flames and Colonials meet again tomorrow in game two of the three game series. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.