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Nanry and Keller Lead Flames to Sweep of Highlanders

April 22, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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P.K. Keller had his fourth three-hit game in his last eight contests Sunday in Flames' victory over Radford.

P.K. Keller had his fourth three-hit game in his last eight contests Sunday in Flames' victory over Radford.

Designated hitter Tim Nanry drove in four runs and outfielder P.K. Keller went 3-for-3, scoring two runs and knocking in three, as the Liberty Flames defeated the Radford Highlanders, 13-5, completing a sweep of the three-game Big South series, Sunday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.

With the sweep, Liberty runs its record to 8-4 in the Big South and 26-16 overall. Radford falls to 1-14 in conference play and 8-28 overall. The Flames are now 10 games above .500 for the first time this season.

Liberty never trailed in the contest, as the host Flames struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. After the first three batters of the frame reached, loading the bases, Nanry (Sr., DH, Rochester, N.Y.) lined a two-run double into the left field corner to put Liberty up, 2-0. Two batters later, a ground out by Aaron Grijalva (R-Jr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) brought home the third run of the inning for a 3-0 Liberty advantage.

Radford got on the scoreboard in the second as Raphael Turner hit a solo home run to right. It was the left fielder's fifth round tripper of the year and cut the Flames' advantage to 3-1.

In the bottom of the frame, Liberty answered with a run of its own to make it, 4-1. David Giammaresi (R-Jr., 3B, Coral Springs, Fla.) laced a double down the left field line to open the Flames' half of the second and scored on a two-out RBI single by Keller (Jr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.).

The Highlanders used the long ball once again to cut into the Liberty lead in the fourth inning. Center fielder Steve Mignogna doubled into the left center field gap to begin the frame and was on base when right fielder Corey Green connected for his sixth home run of the season to make it, 4-3 Liberty.

Radford would get no closer the rest of the day as the Flames plated four runs in the bottom of the inning. Derek Bennion (Sr., LF, Snohomish, Wash.) singled and Giammaresi walked to begin the stanza. Everyone was then safe on a sacrifice bunt by Errol Hollinger (So., C, Upland, Calif.), filling the bases. Kenneth Negron (So., 2B, Kingwood, Tex.) followed with a chopper to the Radford first baseman, who threw the ball over the catcher's head, allowing both Bennion and Giammaresi to cross home plate on the play. The next batter Keller's sacrifice fly plated Hollinger for a 7-3 cushion. Garrett Young (Jr., CF, Fountain Valley, Calif.) capped off the inning for the Flames with a RBI single.

Down 8-3, the Highlanders sliced into the Liberty lead in their next at bat in the fifth. Rick Hoogstraten and Nachion Moore both reached on singles to begin the frame and two batters later, scored on a two-run single by Mignogna.

Liberty put the game out of reach for good in the bottom of the inning. For the second straight frame, the Flames batted around and scored four runs to up their advantage. After Giammaresi doubled for the second time on the afternoon and Hollinger walked, Negron singled up the middle with one to chase home the first run of the stanza for Liberty. Keller followed with a sharply hit RBI single for another run. After Young received an intentional walk to load the bases, Nanry belted a two-run single up the middle for a 12-5 Liberty lead.

In the seventh, the Flames added their final run of the day on a double by Negron and a RBI single by Young.

Liberty starter Michael Solbach (R-Jr., RHP, Woodbridge, Va.) was the beneficiary of the Flames' offensive support as the right-hander runs his record to 6-2 on the season. The right-hander, one of four Liberty hurlers on the day, gave up five runs on six hits, striking out three and walking one. Radford starter Adam Hoyt took the loss as he was roughed up for 11 runs, seven earned, on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.

For the third day in a row, the Flames had 14 hits in the contest. Keller was joined by Young with three hits apiece in the game, while Negron, Nanry and Giammaresi had two hits each. Mignogna and Green paced the Highlanders with two hits apiece.

Keller continued his hot hitting with his fourth three-hit game in his last eight contests. The Liberty outfielder also has had two or more hits in seven of his last nine.

Liberty completes an eight-game homestand on Tuesday afternoon when it welcomes non-conference foe George Mason to Worthington Stadium. Game time Tuesday is scheduled for 3 p.m.