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Liberty Falls in Extra Innings

March 14, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Curran Redal had three hits for the Flames, Sunday.

Curran Redal had three hits for the Flames, Sunday.

The St. John's Red Storm pushed across a run in the 11th inning, edging the Liberty Flames, 7-6, Sunday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.

Liberty drops to 11-2 on the year. St. John's improves to 8-5 and salvages the final game of the three-game series. The Flames took the first two games of the series on Friday and Saturday.

The visiting Red Storm put runs on the scoreboard first in the contest, plating two in the third inning. Center fielder Scott Ferrara walked to open the inning and stole second base. After the runner moved to third base on a ground out, third baseman Greg Hopkins beat out a bunt single, scoring Ferrara for the first run of the contest. Hopkins then moved to second on a ground out and came around to score on a two-out single by first baseman Paul Karmas for a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, Liberty knotted the game at 2-2. With one out, third baseman Tyler Bream (So., Zelienople, Pa.) singled and moved to second on balk. The next batter, catcher Nathan Thompson, (Sr., Stoneville, N.C.) walked, and both runners moved into scoring position on a ground out. Pinch hitter Justin Richardson (So., Lehigh Acres, Fla.) followed by ripping a single back through the middle of the diamond to bringing home both runners to tie the game.

Liberty went on top in the sixth, scoring a run on a ground ball double play, and extended its advantage in the seventh with two runs. Bream chased home the first run in the seventh inning with double. After a walk to Thompson, pinch hitter Austin Taylor (Jr., Thomasville, Ga.) singled to plate Bream, giving the Flames a 5-2 advantage.

In the top of the eighth, the Red Storm went back into the lead, with four runs on four hits. Right fielder Jimmy Parque doubled to open the frame and moved to third on a single by Hopkins. Shortstop Joe Panik plated the first run of the inning, with a RBI single, trimming the Liberty edge to 5-3. Karmas followed with a three-run home run, his fourth of the year, to give St. John's the lead, 6-5.

Once again, the Flames tied the contest in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, second baseman P.J. Jimenez (Sr., Yucaipa, Calif.) double into the right-center field gap to bring home left fielder Kenneth Negron (Sr., Kingwood, Texas), evening the score at 6-6.

Liberty threatened in both the bottom of the ninth, putting runners on first and second with one out. However, Red Storm reliever Stephen Rivera was able to induce a double play grounder to send the game to extra innings.

St. John's scored the game-winning run in the 11th inning. Pinch runner Jimmy Brennan stole second after a single by designated hitter Sean O'Hare to open the frame. After a grounder moved the runner to third base, second baseman Matt Wessinger singled to left field to bring home Brennan for a 7-6 edge.

In the bottom of the inning, Redal singled with one out to get the tying run on base. However, Rivera induced the second double play grounder during his relief stint to close out the 7-6 win for the Red Storm.

Reliever Dane Beakler (Sr., RHP, York, Pa.), the third Liberty pitcher in the contest, falls to 0-1 on the year. The right-hander allowed two runs on three hits over four innings, striking out one.

Rivera, the fifth pitcher in the game for St. John's, pitched three scoreless innings, giving up one hit and walking one.

Redal and Bream had three hits apiece for the Flames. Karmas had two hits and four RBIs, while teammate Hopkins also had two hits for the Red Storm.

Liberty returns to the road on Tuesday, with a visit to Harrisonburg, Va. The Flames will square off with the James Madison Dukes at Veterans Memorial Park. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.