Scores & Schedule Close keyboard_arrow_down

Team News

Liberty Edged in 11 innings, 3-2

March 17, 2010  Cary, N.C.  RSS
|   Share
Catcher Nathan Thompson had two hits, Wednesday.

Catcher Nathan Thompson had two hits, Wednesday.

The host Duke Blue Devils plated the winning run in the 11th inning for a 3-2 victory over the Liberty Flames, Wednesday afternoon at the USA Baseball Complex.

Liberty drops to 11-4 on the year, while Duke moves to 12-4. Both of the Flames' extra-inning contests have gone 11 innings this season.

After three scoreless, no-hit frames for Duke, the host Blue Devils went on top in the contest with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms drew a base on balls and advanced to third on a double down the left field line by first baseman Jeremy Gould. Third baseman Eric Brady followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Piwnica-Worms for a 1-0 lead.

Liberty answered in the top of the fifth inning. With one out, designated hitter Jeff Jefferson (Jr., Danville, Va.) walked and scored on a hit-and-run triple by right-fielder Michael Robertson (So., Everett, Wash.), knotting the score at 1-1. The next batter, first baseman Trey Wimmer (So., Greenwood, S.C.), followed with a grounder which appeared to be going through the infield for a hit, but Duke shortstop Jake Lemmerman made a diving stop to his backhand side and rose to his feet to throw out Robertson trying to score at home to keep the game tied.

The Flames threatened again in the sixth. With one out, second baseman P.J. Jimenez (Sr., Yucaipa, Calif.) and center fielder Curran Redal (Sr., Moses Lake, Wash.) hit back-to-back singles, putting runners on the corners. However, after a pitching change, Redal was caught stealing and Blue Devil reliever Michael Seander ended the threat with a strikeout to end the inning.

Liberty took its first lead of the contest in the top of the seventh. With runners on first and second and one out, pinch hitter Justin Richardson (So., Lehigh Acres, Fla.) dropped a single into center field, cashing in Jefferson, who had walked, to give the Flames the lead at 2-1.

In the bottom of the inning, Duke knotted the contest. Leadoff hitter, second baseman Marcus Stroman lined a pitch to the warning track in center field for extra bases, but was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a triple for the first out of the frame. However, the next four Blue Devils walked, forcing in a run to tie the contest at 2-2. Liberty summoned J.J. McLeod (Jr., RHP, Burlington, Wash.) from the bullpen, and the right-hander induced a double play grounder to get out of the jam.

Liberty loaded the bases in the top of the ninth with no outs. However, Stroman, who came into relieve, was able to retire the next three Flames to keep the score tied. In the bottom of the inning, Duke put two runners on with one out, but McLeod set down the next two Blue Devils to send the contest to extra frames.

In the 11th, Duke pushed across the game-winning run with two outs. With runners on the corners, Piwnica-Worms beat out an infield single, allowing second baseman Joe Pedevillano to score, giving the Blue Devils the 3-2 win.

Despite a strong performance, McLeod takes the loss to fall to 0-1. The fourth Liberty pitcher of the game, he allowed one run on four hits over 4 2/3 innings of relief. He struck out five batters and walked two.

Ryan Knotts, the sixth Duke pitcher to take the mound, picks up the win to move to 1-0. Knotts pitched a scoreless 11th inning, allowing one hit.

Thompson and Doug Bream each had two hits for the Flames in the contest. Gould led the Blue Devils with three hits.

Liberty returns home for a weekend series with the Manhattan Jaspers. The series get underway Friday at Worthington Stadium. Game time is 3 p.m.