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Liberty Plates Three Runs in 12th Inning for 10-7 Victory over No. 19 Coastal Carolina

April 27, 2007  Conway, S.C.  RSS
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Aaron Phillips hit a two-run home run in the 12th inning in Liberty's victory, Friday night.

Aaron Phillips hit a two-run home run in the 12th inning in Liberty's victory, Friday night.

Liberty's David Giammaresi singled home the go ahead run and Aaron Phillips later connected for a two-run home run, as the Flames scored three times in the 12th inning, for a 10-7 win over the No. 19 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in the first game of a three-game Big South series at Charles Watson Stadium, Friday night.

Liberty moves to 9-4 in the Big South Conference and 28-16 overall, while the Chanticleers fall to 11-2 in the conference and 34-9 overall. The Flames have won five straight contests and are now 11-4 in the month of April.

With the score tied at 7-7 in the top of the 12th inning, the visiting Flames struck for three runs. Phil John (Sr., RF, Linwood, N.J.), who had entered the game in the seventh inning as a pinch hitter, singled sharply to left to begin the frame and promptly moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Shawn Teufel (So., 1B, Tequesta, Fla.). Giammaresi (R-Jr., 3B, Coral Springs, Fla.) then chased home the go ahead run in John with an opposite field single to give Liberty an 8-7 advantage. After a fly out for the first out of the extra frame, Phillips (Jr., 2B, Claremore, Okla.) blasted a two-run home run over the left centerfield wall. The infielder's second round tripper of the season put Liberty up, 10-7.

In the bottom of the inning, reliever Tim John (Sr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) set down Coastal Carolina in order to close out the 10-7 victory. The right-hander worked the last 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits. The reliever pitched out of jams in both 10th and 11th frames to pick up the win and run his season's mark to 2-1.

Liberty threatened to score in its first at bat of the contest as the first two Flames batters of the evening reached base. Kenneth Negron (So., 2B, Kingwood, Texas) reached on a dribbler up the middle to lead off the game. P.K. Keller (Jr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.) followed with a single to right field. However, Coastal Carolina starter Andy DeLaGarza ended the threat by getting the next two batters to foul out and ground into an inning-ending double play.

In the second inning, the Flames jumped out to a 2-0 advantage. Patrick Gaillard (Sr., SS, Taylors, S.C.) beat out an infield single to open the frame. After the next batter flied out, Aaron Grijalva (R-Jr., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) blasted a towering home run over the left field wall, his first of the season, giving Liberty an early two-run edge.

Coastal Carolina cut the deficit to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning. Catcher Matt Rademacher led off the Chanticleer half of the frame by lining a home run down the left field line. It was the Coastal Carolina backstop's fourth round tripper of the year.

After throwing a Liberty runner out at home plate in the top of the third, the Chanticleers went on top for the first time on the evening in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded and two men out, Rademacher singled to center field to bring home two runners, putting Coastal Carolina up , 3-2.

The Flames went back in front in the fourth. With one out, Derek Bennion (Sr., LF, Snohomish, Wash.) singled and moved to third on a single by Grijalva. He knotted the game at 3-3 by scoring on a RBI ground out by the next batter, Giammaresi. Liberty then reclaimed the lead, 4-3, on a double over the center fielder's head to the base of the wall by Errol Hollinger (So., C, Upland, Calif.), which chased home Grijalva.

After both teams went down in order for the first time in each squad's at bat in the sixth, Liberty extended its advantage in the seventh. Hollinger singled to lead off the frame and moved to second when the Chanticleer left fielder misplayed the hit. Phillips, who had entered the game in the bottom of the third at second base due to an injury to Negron, then advanced Hollinger to third with a sacrifice bunt. The Flames' next batter, Keller, followed by ripping a 2-0 pitch from DeLaGarza over the left center field wall for his second home run of the season. The outfielder's shot gave Liberty a 6-3 advantage and chased DeLaGarza.

The Flames would continue the inning by loading the bases against new Coastal Carolina pitcher, Joey Haug. With Grijalva at the plate, a passed ball allowed another Liberty run to score for a 7-3 lead.

The Chanticleers cut the Flames' advantage to a single run on two home runs in the home half of the eighth. Tommy Baldridge began the Coastal Carolina rally with a solo home run to right center field, his eighth of the season. Later in the inning, with a runner on runner on second and two out, shortstop Tyler Bortnick connected for a two-run homer, slicing the Liberty lead to 7-6.

The Chanticleers would get the lead off hitter to second with one out in the ninth and ended up cashing him in to tie the game for the second time at 7-7. Leadoff man David Sappelt beat out an infield single to open the frame and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. After a walk, Baldridge dropped a single in front of the Liberty left fielder, scoring Sappelt to send the contest into extra innings.

In the bottom of the 10th with the leadoff man at third and one out, Flames' reliever Tim John struck out the next Coastal Carolina hitter and then got the following batter to bounce back to the mound to end the threat.

Liberty loaded the bases in the top 11th with one out. However, a liner by Gaillard would be speared and turned into an impressive, unassisted double play at second by Chanticleer second baseman Adam Vrable.

Flames starter Dustin Umberger (So., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) kept the Chanticleer batters off balance throughout his six innings of work. The Liberty right-hander allowed three runs on six hits. Ryan Page (Jr., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) followed and gave up three runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings, before yielding to Tim John, who pitched the rest of the way. Coastal Carolina reliever David Anderson took the loss to fall to 3-3.

Coming off a 20-hit outburst Tuesday afternoon against George Mason, Liberty accumulated 16 hits in Friday evening's contest. Six Flames notched a pair of hits apiece.

The Flames and Chanticleers will meet again tomorrow afternoon in the middle game of the three-game series at Charles Watson Stadium. Game time is set for 2 p.m.