Third baseman Tyler Bream had four hits in Liberty's victory, Sunday
Liberty third baseman Tyler Bream had four hits, driving in two runs and Michael Robertson hit his first home run of the year, powering the Flames past the North Florida Ospreys, 9-1, Sunday afternoon at Harmon Stadium.
With the win, Liberty achieves a split of the four-game weekend series. The Flames move to 3-5 on the year. North Florida drops to 4-3.
Liberty struck for the first two runs of the contest in the top of the fourth inning. Third baseman Tyler Bream led off with a single and moved over to third base on a single to right field by left fielder Doug Bream. With designated hitter Austin Taylor at the plate, Doug Bream stole second. When North Florida catcher Corey Bass' thrown went into center field, Tyler Bream scored to give the Flames an early advantage. Taylor followed by dropping a single into center field to cash in Doug Bream from third base, giving Liberty a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Flames extended their advantage. Shortstop Matt Williams opened the frame by lining a double into the right field gap and moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Robertson. Tyler Bream followed with a RBI single to make it, 3-0. The next batter, Doug Bream, ripped a double to the bottom of the right-center field wall, chasing home the runner for a 4-0 edge. After a ground out, catcher Casey Rasmus was walked to load the bases. First baseman Dalton Sype singled to right field to plate the third run of the inning and up the Liberty advantage to 5-0.
North Florida got on the scoreboard in the home half of the fifth. The Ospreys loaded the bases with one out, and scored on a ground out to shortstop by designated hitter Andrew Hannon.
Leading 5-1, Liberty added to its lead, thanks to Robertson. With center fielder Tony McClendon on second base, the Flames right fielder lined a pitch off the roof of the indoor batting cage on the other side of the left field wall. The first home run of the year for Robertson gave the Liberty a 7-1 lead.
The Flames tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth inning. Tyler Bream brought home the first run of the frame with a grounder to shortstop with one out and bases loaded. Doug Bream followed with a RBI single to left for the final score of 9-1.
Flame starter John Niggli had a strong outing in his first start in a Liberty uniform. The junior right-hander runs his mark to 1-0 on the season, allowing one run on four hits over six innings. He struck out five batters and walked two.
North Florida starter Robbie Collie takes the loss, evening his record at 1-1. The left-hander was roughed up for seven runs on 11 hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked two.
Liberty had 13 hits in the contest, led by Tyler Bream's four. Doug Bream had three hits and Williams added two hits for the Flames. First baseman Evan Stemmer and catcher Corey Bass had two hits each for North Florida. The Ospreys had six in the contest.
Liberty travels to Blacksburg, Va., for its first midweek game at Virginia Tech, Wednesday. The contest will complete the Flames' nine-game road swing to open the year. First pitch at English Field is scheduled for 3 p.m.