Hosts sweep tourney
Liberty won all four of its games in its weekend tournament
The Flames played a grueling four games in three days over the weekend in the Liberty Tournament where it hosted the Le Moyne Dolphins and the New Orleans Privateers at Worthington Stadium.
The tournament started with a game between the two guest teams on Friday. Le Moyne defeated New Orleans 8-2.
Liberty’s first game in the tournament was a lengthy, taxing game against the Dolphins. After 12 innings, the Flames’ infielder, sophomore Matt Williams, launched the ball over the fence for a game winning home run.
Friday’s game was the first game back for catcher, junior Casey Rasmus, who was out with a sprained ankle. He was happy to be back out on the sand, helping the team win, he said.
Liberty started strong in its game against Le Moyne. The Flames cleared away the Le Moyne batters quickly and scored early in its time at bat.
Junior Ian Parmley was first up to bat for Liberty and smashed a two-base hit down the third-baseline. Junior Michael Robertson followed suit hitting another double, making his way to second and bringing Parmley home.
In the third inning, the third batter for Le Moyne bunted the ball down the first baseline. Flames pitcher, senior Steven Evans, raced for the ball, got a glove on it but bumbled the ball, allowing the Le Moyne runner to make it to first.
In the fourth inning Evans redeemed himself in a similar situation by smoothly getting hold of the ball and tossing it to first baseman senior Austin Taylor. The play eliminated the Le Moyne batter.
At the end of the fourth inning, the teams were tied 2-2.
“It’s tough (to keep motivated) because we didn’t have a lot of offense going. Our pitchers really kept the team going,” Rasmus said.
No score was made for the following seven innings for either team. Through many close calls for both teams, fans packed in the bleachers and scattered across a grassy hill waited in anticipation for the game-winning score.
“We picked up energy late and we knew we had to win that game. We had a lot on the line,” Williams said after the game, covered in celebratory shaving cream for his home run.
The Liberty fans were rewarded with Williams’ home run in the bottom of the 12th which brought the final score to 3-2, a win for the Flames.
“I’m really proud of the way the guys won with 12 innings and a walk-off home run by Matt Williams. He really sat on a fastball and crushed it,” Coach Jim Toman said.
Less than 24 hours later, Liberty faced New Orleans in the third game of the Liberty Tournament.
Pitcher, senior Dane Beakler, helped the Flames defeat the Privateers 3-2.
The games marked Beakler first complete game of his career. He allowed seven hits, two of which resulted in runs for New Orleans. He struck out eight of his opponents and did not walk a batter.
The Flames put their first mark on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning.
The third inning was a battle with New Orleans taking a run early on. Liberty fought back with Parmley securing its second run late in the inning. A long and high throw by the Privateer’s catcher who was attempting to the Flames’ runner on first allowed Parmley to take home.
Liberty junior Tyler Bream snagged the final run for the Flames in the seventh inning.
New Orleans tied up the game in the fifth inning 2-2. Following the final run for New Orleans, Beakler did not allow another Privateer to reach a base.
Along with the difficulty of an intense tournament the Flames were dealing with many injuries, pushing the remaining players to compensate.
“We battled and competed. We’ve had four or five guys that are injured … so we’ve been really struggling to stay healthy,” Coach Toman said.