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Season-High 16 Hits Help Power Liberty to 11-8 Victory over Georgia
The Liberty Flames banged out a season-high 16 hits, en route to an 11-8 win over the Georgia Bulldogs, Sunday afternoon at Foley Field.
For the sixth time this season, the Flames have had 10 or more hits in a game. Second baseman Bryan Aanderud, left fielder Nick Lacik and third baseman Dalton Sype each had three hits in the game for Liberty.
Lacik, batting leadoff hitter for the first time this season , had three hits and walked once on the afternoon. He drove in a team-high three runs and scored twice.
Aanderud also had three hits and walked once in the game. It was the second time this season he has recorded a three-hit contest. The second baseman also drove in a run for the Flames.
Meanwhile, Sype posted three hits, including an RBI double. The three-hit game was the second of the year for the infielder, who also drove in two runs.
With the win, Liberty moves to 10-5 on the year and snaps a three-game losing skid. Georgia drops to 7-8.
Liberty starter Trey Lambert gave the Flames a solid outing, pitching seven scoreless innings, before the Bulldogs reached him for a run in the eighth inning. The right-hander pitched 7 1/3 innings to run his record to 3-0 on the year. He gave up three runs on seven hits, striking out two and walking two batters. Until giving up a run in the eighth inning, Lambert had not allowed a run for 14 consecutive innings.
Liberty jumped out to an early lead, striking for a run in the top of the first inning. Lacik led off the game with a single and moved to third base on a hit-and-run single by Aanderud. The next batter, center fielder Ryan Cordell, then lifted a sacrifice fly to score Lacik with the first run of the game and a 1-0 advantage.
The Flames added to their lead in their next at bat. Shortstop Dalton Britt singled through the right side of the infield to open the second inning and advanced to second on a ground out by Sype. Lacik followed with a sharp single to center field to plate Britt for a 2-0 edge.
Despite a pitching change for the Bulldogs, Liberty scored two runs in the third. Center fielder Nick Paxton was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and stole second. Two batters later, first baseman Alex Close singled to left field, moving Paxton to third. When Bulldog left fielder Hunter Cole misplayed the ball, Paxton came around to score, extending the Flames' lead to 3-0. After a two-out single by Sype, Lacik dropped a single into center field to cash in Close, building the Liberty advantage to 4-0.
After Flames starter Lambert faced the minimum nine batters through the first three innings, Georgia threatened in the bottom of the fourth. Second baseman Nelson Ward and third baseman Curt Powell opened the frame with back-to-back singles. However, Lambert induced a routine double play from shortstop Kyle Farmer and a ground out by Cole to prevent the Bulldogs from getting on the scoreboard in the inning.
Liberty extended its advantage with a two-out run in the fifth. With one out, designated hitter Danny Grauer singled. Two batters later, Britt walked. Sype followed by lining a run-scoring double down the left field line with two outs to stretch the Flames lead to 5-0.
In the seventh, Liberty batted around, lengthening its advantage with three more runs. After the first three batters of the inning either walked or were hit by a pitch to load the bases, a wild pitch by Bulldog reliever Grant Earls allowed Paxton to plate the first run of the inning. Two batters later, Lacik lifted a RBI sacrifice fly for a 7-0 lead. Cordell then walked with the bases full to make it 8-0 Flames.
Sype added a run with a RBI single and Anderud pushed another across with an infield single in the top of the eighth.
In the bottom of the frame, Georgia broke up the shutout and plated five runs. A leadoff triple by designated hitter Brett DeLoach, followed by a single by pinch hitter Sean McLaughlin scored the first Bulldog run of the game. Later with two outs, a Farmer single made it 10-2. Cole then cut the Liberty edge to 10-5 with a bases-loaded triple. First baseman Daniel Nichols followed with a RBI single, trimming the Flames edge to 10-6.
Liberty added an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Wimmer doubled to lead off the inning and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Justin Sizemore for an 11-6 advantage.
In the bottom of the inning, Georgia plated two runs with two outs, before Flames reliever Ashton Perritt was able to close out the Bulldogs for an 11-8 win.
Georgia had 15 hits in the contest. Cole had three hits and three RBIs to pace the Bulldogs.
Georgia starter Luke Crumley gave up two runs on six hits over two innings. He struck out one and walked one batter.
Liberty turned four double plays in the contest and left 14 men on base. Georgia left five runners stranded.
The Flames next continue on the road by traveling to Williamsburg, Va., for a contest at William & Mary on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.