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Kansas State Snaps Liberty's 4-game Win Streak

February 25, 2017  Lexington, S.C.  RSS
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Sammy Taormina had three hits, Saturday.

Sammy Taormina had three hits, Saturday.

Despite three hits by Sammy Taormina, Kansas State used a six-run sixth inning to snap the Liberty Flames' four-game winning streak, 8-2, Saturday afternoon at Lexington County vs. Cancer at Lexington County Baseball Stadium.

Taormina posted his fifth multi-hit games in six contests by going 3-for-4 on the afternoon. One of the reigning Big South Player of the Week's hits was a double.

Meanwhile, trailing 2-1 in the top of the sixth, Kansas State scored six times, including a grand slam by designated hitter Steve Serratore.

Liberty drops to 4-2 on the season, while Kansas State improves to 5-2.         

Kansas State scored the first run of the contest in the top of the second inning, only to see Liberty answer with two in the bottom of the frame. A two-out RBI single by third baseman Quintin Crandall gave the Wildcats, the visitors on the scoreboard, the initial edge of 1-0 in the top of the second.

In the bottom of inning, the Flames took advantage of a Kansas State error in plating their two runs. With two outs and two men on base, Wildcat second baseman Josh Either misplayed a grounder off the bat of Liberty third baseman Ben Highfill, keeping the inning alive. Center fielder D.J. Artis cashed in on the miscue by ripping a bases loaded double high off the right-center wall to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.

Liberty starting pitcher Caleb Evans pitched out of a scoring threat in the top of the fourth to hold the Flames' one-run edge. Kansas State moved two runners into scoring position at second and third to open the inning, but came away empty. Evans battled back to retire the next three batters, striking out two, to squelch the threat.

The Wildcats benefited from a Liberty error in pushing six runs across in the top of the sixth. The first two Kansas State batters of the inning reached, as Crandall singled and right fielder Hanz Harker walked. Left fielder Will Brennan followed with a run-scoring single to tie the game at 2-2.

After a Flames' pitching change, second baseman Josh Either walked to load the bases. Two batters later, Liberty shortstop Cam Locklear misplayed a two-out grounder by Wildcat shortstop Jake Wodtke, allowing Kansas State to take a 3-2 edge, and more important, the inning to continue. Serratore followed by clearing the bases with his second home run of the season for a 7-2 advantage.

A home run by Harker in the seventh extended the Wildcats' lead to the final score of 8-2.

Evans falls to 1-1 on the year. The right-hander allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four batters and walked two.

Kansas State starter Justin Heskett moves to 1-0. The right-hander gave up two unearned runs on seven hits over the first five innings. He struck out two batters and walked three.

The Wildcats outhit the Flames, 12-9, in the contest. Liberty committed four errors on the afternoon, while Kansas State made one.

Up Next: Liberty and Kansas State will meet again tomorrow at Lexington County vs. Cancer. First pitch at Lexington County Baseball Stadium is schedule for 11 a.m.