Phillip Laurent drove in three runs with a home run and a double as the Liberty Flames defeated the Marist Red Foxes, 6-5, for their eight straight win, Tuesday, at Worthington Stadium.
Liberty, winners of 13 of their last 14 games, moves to 15-3, while Marist drops to 4-6. The win is the first all-time for the Flames over the Red Foxes (1-6) on the baseball diamond.
Marist took an early advantage on a RBI double by Bryan Towler in the first inning for a 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, Liberty batted around in the frame, plating four runs to go on top, 4-1. With two out and runners at the corners, Michael Just (Sr., 2B, Woodcliff Lakes, N.J.) tripled to the wall in right field to put Liberty in front 2-1. He would then score on an error by the Red Fox center field on a fly ball off the bat of Aaron Grijalva (r-So., 1B, Redlands, Calif.). Laurent (Sr., LF, Cantrall, Ill.) followed with a sharply hit ball down the right field line for a RBI double to widen the advantage.
The Flames added two runs in the fifth inning. After Grijalva again reached on an error, this time by the third baseman, Laurent hit his fourth home run of the season over the right field wall, upping the lead to 6-1.
Marist cut into the Liberty advantage in the eighth inning. After back-to-back singles with one out, Kevin Grauer singled to left field. However, the throw back to the infield from the Flames' left fielder would get away and end up in the Red Foxes dugout, allowing two runs to score. Two batters later, a ground out by pinch hitter Tom Ciccarone scored Grauer from third, trimming the Flames' lead to 6-4.
In the ninth inning, the Red Foxes scored a run on a fielder's choice to close the gap to one run, but Liberty closed out the inning for the 6-5 victory.
Liberty starter Phillip Thompson (Sr., RHP, Ringgold, Va.) runs his record to 3-1, winning his third straight start, allowing four runs, three earned, on 11 hits, while striking four and walking one. Dustin Umberger (Fr., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) pitched the ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season. Marist starter Jonathan Smith took the loss to fall to 0-2.
The Red Foxes and the Flames will meet again tomorrow afternoon at Worthington Stadium. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.