Left-hander Victor Cole provided Liberty with another solid pitching performance, as the Flames defeated the Presbyterian Blue Hose, 9-3, Sunday to completing a sweep of the three-game Big South series at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Cole moved to 2-1 on the year, allowing three runs on five hits over 6 1/3 innings of work. The left-hander struck out a career-high 10 batters and walked three. Ashton Perritt took over and did not allow a run over the final 2 2/3 innings in the victory.
Six of Liberty's nine runs in the contest came with two outs.
Catcher Becker Sankey homered for the third consecutive day in the contest and leads the Flames with seven on the year.
Liberty moves to 4-2 in the Big South and 17-10 overall. Presbyterian falls to 1-5 in conference play and 16-12 overall.
The Blue Hose opened the contest with a run in the first. With one out, third baseman Ryan Hendrick tripled off the top of the left center field wall and scored on a double by shortstop Jay Linznich for a 1-0 edge.
Sankey evened the game with his home run in the second. The Liberty catcher blasted the first pitch of the bottom half of the inning over the left field wall, knotting the contest at 1-1.
The Flames went in front for good with two runs in their next at bat. Right fielder Will Shepherd singled and stole second base to open the home half of the third.
Shepherd then advanced to third base when a fly ball by first baseman Alex Close was dropped by Presbyterian right fielder Peter Johnson. Three batters later, designated hitter Andrew Yacyk plated both runners with a two-out single for a 3-1 lead.
Liberty tacked on three more in the fifth. Close walked to begin the Flames' fifth. Two batters later, Sankey walked and both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. After left fielder Nick Paxton drew a walk to load the bases, Salisbury dropped a two-out single into left field, scoring Close and Sankey and extending the Liberty advantage to 5-1. Third baseman Jake Kimble followed with a RBI single for a 6-1 advantage.
In the top of the sixth, Presbyterian cut its deficit to three runs. Center fielder Tyler Weyenberg led off the inning with a single and was aboard Lizanich's third home run of the season, trimming the Liberty lead to 6-3.
In the bottom of the inning, the Flames answered with two of their own. With one out, Liberty loaded the bases and scored when Yacyk was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Paxton then walked to force in another run for an 8-3 advantage.
Three errors in the eighth inning allowed Liberty to tally the final run of the game for what proved to be the final scored of 9-3.
Presbyterian starting pitcher Aaron Lesiak falls to 2-2 on the season. The right-hander gave up six runs on seven hits over 4 2/3-plus innings. He struck out six and walked two batters.
Liberty outhit Presbyterian, 10-6. Close and Shepherd each had two hits for the Flames. Yacyk collected three RBI.
Liberty next hosts the Old Dominion Monarchs in a non-conference contest at Liberty Baseball Stadium, Tuesday. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.