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Liberty Completes Sweep with 10-4 Victory

February 21, 2010  Kennesaw, Ga.  RSS
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P.J. Jimenez had three hits in Sunday's 10-4 win at Kennesaw State, completing a three-game season-opening sweep of the Owls.

P.J. Jimenez had three hits in Sunday's 10-4 win at Kennesaw State, completing a three-game season-opening sweep of the Owls.

Tyler Bream had four hits and scored three times, helping the Liberty Flames to complete a three-game sweep of the Kennesaw Owls with a 10-4 victory, Sunday afternoon at Stillwell Stadium.

Liberty moves to 3-0 on the year. It is the second time in three seasons, the Flames have started a year by winning their first three games under head coach Jim Toman. In 2008, Liberty won all three of its games at the Clearwater Invitational in Toman's first season. Kennesaw State drops to 0-3.

For the third straight contest, the Flames put a run on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning. With one out, second baseman P.J. Jimenez (Sr., Yucaipa, Calif.) singled to left. Two batters later, he moved to third on a hit-and-run single by third baseman Bream (So., Zelienople, Pa.) and gave Liberty a 1-0 lead, on a single to right-field by right fielder Michael Robertson (So., Everrett, Wash.).

In the bottom of the inning, the host Owls evened the score at 1-1, taking advantage of a Flames' fielding error. With one out, second baseman Sean McClurken reached safely and moved to second base on a throwing miscue by Liberty pitcher Steven Evans (Jr., LHP, Amherst, Va.). McClurken advanced to third on a passed ball and tied the game on a ground out by designated hitter Ronnie Freeman.

Liberty quickly went back into the lead in the second inning. Left fielder Jeff Jefferson (Jr., Danville, Va.) walked to open the frame and was aboard on a one-out home run by catcher Nathan Thompson (Sr., Stoneville, N.C.) for a 3-1 advantage.

The Flames widened their lead in the third. With the bases loaded and two out, first baseman Trey Wimmer (So., Greenwood, S.C.) ripped a double past the third base bag, plating two more runners to make it, 5-1 Liberty.

For the fourth consecutive inning, the Flames put a run on the Stillwell Stadium scoreboard. Shortstop Matt Williams (So., Franklin, Tenn.) opened the top of the fourth frame by splitting the left-center field gap with a triple. Jimenez followed with a RBI single for a 6-1 Liberty edge.

In the seventh, host Kennesaw State pushed two runs across. A wild pitch with Owl runners on second and third base brought home the first run of the inning. Freeman followed with a RBI sacrifice fly to cut the Liberty edge to 6-3.

The Flames extended their cushion in the eighth. With Liberty runners on second and third base, Kenneth Negron (Sr., OF, Kingwood, Texas) grounded a one-out single through a drawn-in infield to bring home both Flames, upping their advantage to 8-3.

In the ninth, Liberty scored two more runs on back-to-back doubles by Bream and Robertson and a RBI single by designated hitter Austin Taylor (Jr., Thomasville, Ga.). Kennesaw State pushed across a run in the bottom of the frame for the final score of 10-4.

Liberty starter Evans recorded the win to move to 1-0 on the year. The left-hander, the first of six Flames to take the mound in the game, allowed one unearned run during four inning of work, striking out four and walking two.

Owl starter Bryan Blough took the defeat to fall to 0-1. He gave up six runs on nine hits, striking out two and walking one.

Besides Bream's four hits, Jimenez and Robertson each had three hits for the Flames. McClurken had three hits for Kennesaw State.

Liberty travels to Wilmington, N.C., for the Hughes Brothers Challenge, Friday through Sunday at Brooks Stadium. The Flames will face Morehead State, Friday. Game time is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.