For the second time in three days, three Flames hit home runs, while Phillip Laurent batted in three runs as Liberty defeated the George Washington Colonials, 12-8, to sweep the three-game weekend series between the two teams, Sunday afternoon at Barcroft Park.
With the victory, Liberty opens the season 14-3, the second best start in school history, while George Washington falls to 4-10. The Flames have won a season-high seven straight and 11 of their last 12 games.
Liberty opened the game by posting two runs in their top half of the first inning on a two- run double by Laurent (Sr., LF, Cantrall, Ill.). George Washington took a 3-2 lead in the bottom half of the inning on a two-run double by left fielder Charlie Kruer and a RBI single by the next batter Andrew Abokhair .
The Flames grabbed back the lead in the second inning. With the base loaded, Chad Miller (Sr., 3B, Wheat Ridge, Col.) doubled to the left field corner to plate two runs and a RBI ground out by Michael Just (Sr., 2B, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) scored another to give the Flames a 5-3 advantage. The Colonials countered with a run of their own on a single by Mickey Shupin.
Leading 5-4, Liberty stretched their lead with three more runs in the third inning. With two out and one on, Patrick Gaillard (Jr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) hit his third home run of the year, a two-run shot over the left field wall. The next batter, Milller, walked and later stole second, before Aaron Grijalva (r-So., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) singled sharply between the shortstop and third baseman to put the Flames an 8-4.
A run in the fourth inning on an error by the George Washington second baseman and one in the fifth inning on a RBI single by Laurent upped the Liberty lead to 10-4.
The Colonials' Kruer, who was 4-for-4 with five RBI, hit a two-run home run in bottom of the fifth to make it 10-6.
In the top of the seventh inning, Just hit a solo home run, his second on the season, while George Washington made the score, 11-8, with back-to-back RBI singles by Kruer and Abokhair.
Abe Yeakel (Jr., DH, Kutztown, Pa.) hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot over the right center field wall, to extend the Flames' lead back to 12-8.
Tim John (Jr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) ran his season record to 2-0 in relief of starter Dane Beakler (Fr., RHP, York, Pa.). John, who relieved in the second inning, pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and a walk, while striking out two. Billy Daniels (Sr., RHP, Colonial Heights, Va) followed in the fifth inning after John was struck in the arm by a batted ball. The senior threw two innings allowing two runs, both unearned, on two hits, while striking out two. Dustin Umberger (Fr., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) pitched the last three innings for the Flames to earn his first save of the year, yielding two runs on four hits.
The Colonial starter Tim Sexton, 0-3, took the loss, allowing eight runs, five earned, on six hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Laurent was one of five Liberty players with two hits on the afternoon and drove in three runs. The Flames' left fielder went 8-for-12, a .667 average, in the three-game series, driving in five runs with a home run and a double.
Liberty returns home and begins a five-game home stand Tuesday afternoon by entertaining the Marist Red Foxes. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.