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Liberty News

Karraker talks about catch that hit No. 1 on ESPN’s Top 10 list

February 21, 2019 : Liberty University News Service

Senior right fielder Ayden Karraker’s spectacular running catch in foul territory and flip over the fence — a highlight of the Flames Baseball team’s 9-3 home-opening upset of No. 20-ranked Wake Forest on Tuesday night at Liberty Baseball Stadium — was featured as the No. 1 play on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 list that night.

Liberty Flames Sports Network (LFSN) broadcast the game, with Game On sports anchor Matt Warner calling the play-by-play.

“I was just trying to get an out for the team and was rewarded with that catch,” Karraker said. “I knew the fence was there but was going full speed and couldn’t stop myself. It was a good thing that I did that little jump after I caught the ball or I would have hit the fence full-force, and it would have hurt a lot more.”

He heard about the play landing at the No. 1 spot on SportsCenter from friends and family who flooded him with calls.

“It just happened so fast and before the game was over, my phone was blowing up,” Karraker said. “I’m glad I got to spend this moment with my team. We all have this bond that I’ve never felt before with a baseball team, and we’re willing to do whatever it takes. We’ll run through walls for each other, and that’s what you need to be a championship team.”

Liberty was only winning 3-2 at the time Karraker made the memorable catch in the top of the fourth inning. He later delivered a clutch, two-out, bases-loaded double down the right-field line in the bottom of the seventh that broke the game wide open for a 7-2 lead. Karraker finished the game 2-for-2 with two walks.

“It was cool beating an ACC team ranked 20th in the nation,” Karraker said. “I was a great game all-around. We kind of put it to them. It was awesome.”

Sophomore southpaw Mason Meyer pitched into the eighth inning to earn his first victory for the Flames.

“Mason was electrifying,” Karraker said. “He pitched his tail off on the mound, and that built momentum for our defense, which made some great plays all-around. It was just a great team win.”

The Flames (2-2) will host Delaware in a three-game nonconference series, starting Friday at 3 p.m. at Liberty Baseball Stadium. The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 2 p.m. before concluding the series Sunday at 1 p.m. Tickets are in advance or at the gate on game days.

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