Will Shepherd collected his second-straight three-hit game, Tuesday.
Despite erasing early deficits, the Liberty Flames fell to the James Madison Dukes, 13-10, Tuesday evening at the Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Liberty overcame 5-0 and 9-4 deficits early in the game to tie the contest at 10-10 in the sixth inning. However, a two-out error opened the door for James Madison to score three runs in the ninth inning en route to a 13-10 victory.
The wild contest saw the teams combined for not only 23 runs, but also 30 hits. Liberty collected 13 hits in the game, while James Madison had 17.
Right fielder Will Shepherd collected three hits, two doubles and a RBI for the Flames. It was the second-straight three-hit game for the sophomore. Shepherd also scored two runs.
Liberty drops to 28-17 on the season. The setback snaps a three-game Flames' winning streak. James Madison moves to 16-25 overall. The contest went 3:44, the longest nine-inning contest in Liberty Baseball Stadium history.
After James Madison scored a run in the first inning on a wild pitch, the Dukes plated four runs in the second to take a 5-0 edge. A one-out single by right fielder Kevin Husum with the bases loaded brought home the first two runs of the inning. Second baseman Kyle Mcpherson followed with a RBI single for a 3-0 lead. After a walk once again loaded the bases, first baseman Brett Johnson lifted a sacrifice to give the Dukes a 5-0 advantage.
Liberty answered in the bottom of the second with four runs of its own. Shepherd opened the inning with a double and advanced to third on a single by designated hitter Andrew Yacyk. Left fielder Nick Paxton followed with a single for the Flames' first run of the contest.
After a one-out walk to second baseman Nick Salisbury loaded the bases, Yacyk scored on a wild pitch to make it, 5-2 Dukes. Two batters later, James Madison catcher Chris Hanson's errant throw on a dropped third strike with two outs and shortstop Dalton Britt at the plate, allowed two more Liberty runs to score, cutting the James Madison lead to 5-4.
The Dukes plated four more runs in their next at bat. James Madison scored runs in the top of the third on a one-out double by third baseman Kyle Weston, a throwing error by Flames shortstop Britt, a balk and one-out single by shortstop Chad Carroll.
In the bottom of the inning, Liberty trimmed the visitors' advantage to 9-6 with two runs. Catcher Becker Sankey singled to begin the home half of the frame and scored on a double by Shepherd. After advancing to third on a fly out by Yacyk, Shepherd scored on a passed ball to cut Liberty's deficit on the scoreboard to three.
The Flames continued to whittle away at the James Madison advantage with two runs in the fourth. Center fielder Ashton Perritt walked to open the bottom of the inning. After moving to second base on a passed ball, Perritt scored on a single by Britt. First baseman Alex Close followed with a triple off the right-center field wall to move the Flames within a run at 9-8.
After James Madison scored on a RBI double by pinch hitter Bobby San Martin in the fifth, Liberty tied the contest in the sixth. With one out, Yacyk walked and moved to second on a single by Paxton. Two batters later, third baseman Clay Keranen lined a two-out, RBI single through the right side of the infield to bring Liberty once again within one at 10-9. With runners at the corners, Keranen then got in a rundown trying to steal, allowing Paxton to score and knotting the game at 10-10.
The Flames threatened in the eighth. Sankey opened the inning with a single and moved into scoring position on a one-out single by Yacyk. However, James Madison was able to turn a double play on a ground ball by Paxton to end the threat.
In the top of the ninth, James Madison loaded the bases with one out. After reliever Close struck out the next batter for two out, a throwing error by shortstop Britt on a grounder by Corringan allowed the go-ahead run to score. San Martin, who stayed in the game to catch after pinch hitting in the fifth, followed with a two-run single for a 13-10 advantage. Salisbury singled to open the Liberty ninth. However, McCoy retired the next three batters to close out the victory for James Madison.
Liberty reliever Perritt falls to 1-4 on the season. The fourth of five pitchers for the Flames in the contest, Perritt gave up three runs on four hits over four-plus innings. He struck out one and walked one.
McCoy moves to 2-3 for James Madison. The fourth pitcher in the game for the Dukes, he pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing three hits. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Sankey, Yacyk and Paxton each collected two hits and scored twice for the Flames in the contest.
Liberty next hosts the East Carolina Pirates at Liberty Baseball Stadium, tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.