Evan Mitchell pitched his third complete game of the season, Friday.
Three Liberty home runs backed a strong outing by right-hander Evan Mitchell, powering the Flames to a 4-2 victory over the Presbyterian Blue Hose, Friday afternoon at PC Baseball Complex.
Designated hitter Andrew Kowalo, right fielder Jack Morris and catcher Payton Scarbrough each belted home runs in the Big South contest. Kowalo, who hit his third of the season, and Morris, who connected on his second, each hit solo shots. Scarbrough blasted his third of the year, a two-run home run.
Meanwhile for the third time this season, Mitchell pitched a complete game, running his record to 2-4. He allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits. He struck out eight, tying a career-high, and walked three.
Liberty moves to 7-6 in the Big South and 21-19 overall. Presbyterian drops to 5-8 in the conference and 19-18 overall.
Hits and runs were at a premium through the first six innings, as Mitchell and Blue Hose starting pitcher Brian Keener locked in a pitchers' duel.
After having a runner thrown out at home plate trying to score on a wild pitch in the first, Presbyterian staked itself to an advantage with a run in the third. With two outs, second baseman Glen Casaceli singled. Back-to-back walks, one intentional, loaded the bases. Center fielder Tyler Weyenberg followed with a single for a 1-0 edge.
Liberty's first hit of the game resulted in its first run in the top of the fifth inning. With two outs, Kowalo belted a 1-0 offering from Kehner over the left center field wall to knot the game at 1-1.
The Flames went in front on their second two-out home run of the contest. Just like Kowalo, Morris ripped a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall, giving Liberty a 2-1 edge.
In the top of the seventh, the Flames added to their advantage. Left fielder Andrew Yacyk led off the inning with a double into the right field corner. Two batters later, Scarbrough connected on the first pitch he saw, lining a home run into the bushes beyond the left field wall for a 4-1 lead.
The Blue Hose scored a run in the bottom of the ninth for the final score of 4-2. First baseman Jacob Midkiff reached and moved to second on a throwing error by shortstop Dalton Britt. Pinch hitter A.J. Prialux followed with a RBI double for the final score. Mitchell then closed out his complete game by retiring the next three batters.
Presbyterian's Keener drops to 4-4 on the year. The left-hander gave up four runs, all on home runs, on four hits over 7 1/3-plus innings. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Liberty and PC each had four hits each. The Flames committed four errors in the contest.
The Blue Hose stranded seven base runners, while the Flames left three.
Liberty and Presbyterian will meet again tomorrow at PC Baseball Complex. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.