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Liberty Edged by No. 30 Campbell in 13 Innings, 2-1
In a tightly-contested game which took 13 innings to decide an outcome, a two-out single by first baseman Nick Ray gave the No. 30 Campbell Camels a 2-1 win over the Liberty Flames, Friday night in a Big South Conference contest at Jim Perry Stadium.
Hits and runs were at a premium on the night. The Flames outhit the Camels, 8-7, with neither team having an extra base hit in the contest.
Liberty starter Josh Richardson and Campbell starter Ryan Mattes dueled through the opening innings, while Flames reliever Ashton Perritt, who took over on the mound after starting in the contest in left field, and Camels reliever Ryan Thompson matched each other in the late innings.
Liberty falls to 11-8 in Big South action and 27-22 overall. Campbell advances to 17-5 in conference action and 41-9 overall. The contest was the longest of the year in innings, 13, for the Flames.
Liberty jumped out to an early advantage in its opening at bat. Left fielder Perritt was hit by the game's first pitch and with one out, stole second. After he moved to third base on a wild pitch by Mattes, designated hitter Danny Grauer dropped a two-out single into center field, scoring Perritt for a 1-0 edge.
After being held scoreless through the first three frames, Campbell plated a run to tie the contest. Before the tally, Richardson had not allowed a run for 24 consecutive innings. Shortstop John Reilly opened the inning with a single and moved to third on back-to-back one-out walks to designated hitter David Olson and third baseman Elijah Trail.
After Richardson struck out catcher Michael Delucia for the second out of the inning, right fielder Will Albertson drew a bases loaded walk to force in a run and knot the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Camels threatened by putting runners at first and second with one out. But Liberty summoned Jared Lyons from the bullpen and the left-hander retired the next two batters to strand the runners and keep the score at 1-1.
A Campbell miscue moved a Flames runner to third with no outs in top of the seventh, only to come away empty. Center fielder Ryan Cordell led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced all the way to third base on an errant throw on a failed pick-off attempt by Mattes. However, the Camels brought the infield in and the Campbell right-hander was able to retire the next three batters, stranding Cordell at third.
In the top of the ninth, the first two Flames reached, putting a runner in scoring position, but were unable to break the tie. In the bottom of the frame, the Camels had their leadoff man reach to open the inning, but Lyons and Perritt, who came on to pitch with one out, prevented the runner from moving any further to send the contest to extra innings.
Campbell loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the 12th. With no one on and two outs, the Camels had the next three men reach to fill the bases. But Perritt was able to get out of the inning, as second baseman Bryan Aanderud made an outstanding defensive play on a grounder by outfielder Colby Fox to record the final out of the frame.
In the 13th, Campbell again moved the winning run to third base with two outs. Trail was hit by a pitch to open the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Delucia. After Trail moved to third on a flyout to right field by Albertson, Ray singled to left field to score Trail and give the Camels the 2-1 victory.
Perritt falls to 3-1 on the year. He gave up one run on three hits over 4 1/3 innings of relief. He walked one batter.
Thompson moves to 7-0 on the season. The Campbell reliever allowed three hits over five scoreless innings. He struck out five batters and walked two.
Liberty third baseman Jake Kimble had two hits for the Flames, while Reilly had two hits in the contest for Campbell.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow at Jim Perry Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.