A sacrifice fly by third baseman Trey McDyre provided the Liberty Flames with a 7-6, walk-off victory over the No. 9 St. John's Red Storm in game two of a doubleheader, Saturday at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
After Flames' relief pitcher Zach Clinton stranded the go-ahead run at third in the top of the ninth inning, first baseman Sammy Taormina opened the home half of the ninth with an opposite field double and moved to third on a single by second baseman Andrew Kowalo. Red Storm reliever Gavin Hollowell then hit left fielder Jake Barbee to load the bases. McDyre followed by lifting a fly ball to right field to plate Taormina and give Liberty the 7-6 victory.
With the win, Liberty splits its doubleheader with St. John's. The Red Storm took game one, 4-2. Liberty moves to 9-6 on the season, while St. John's falls to 12-2.
The visiting Red Storm took a short-lived lead in the top of the third. With one out, designated hitter Gui Gingras singled and second baseman Josh Shaw drew a walk. Left fielder Michael Donadio followed with a two-run double for a 2-0 edge.
In the bottom of the inning, the Flames sent 11 men to plate and scored a season-high six runs to take their first lead of the three-game series. McDyre and designated hitter Payton Scarbrough began the uprising with back-to-back singles. St. John's right-hander Michael LoPresti then walked shortstop Josh Barrick and center fielder D.J. Artis to force in the first run of the frame. Catcher Matt Allen followed with a RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
An error on Red Storm third baseman Kevin Buckley on a grounder by right fielder Will Shepherd scored Barrick and gave Liberty a 3-2 lead. Taormina then plated Artis with a sacrifice fly to up the Flames' advantage to 4-2. Two batters later, Barbee lined an opposite field double into the left field corner to bring home Allen and Shepherd for a 6-2 lead.
St. John's countered with two runs in its next at bat. First baseman John Valente, who had three hits in the contest, singled with one out and scored on a double by shortstop Jesse Berardi. Later, an infield single by right fielder Mike Antico brought home Berardi, cutting Liberty's advantage to 6-4.
The Red Storm tied the contest with single runs in the seventh and the eighth. In the seventh, center fielder Jamie Galazin's two-out single scored Donadio, who walked to lead off the inning. In the eighth, Berardi walked to lead off the inning and came around to tie the game at 6-6 on a sacrifice fly by Shaw.
Right-hander Zach Clinton moves to 1-0 on the year. The fourth Liberty pitcher of the contest, the redshirt sophomore pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and walking a batter.
Hollowell drops to 0-1. The reliever gave up one run on two hits over the 2 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two.
Liberty collected eight hits in the contest. Taormina had two hits to lead the Flames. St. John's had 12.
Up Next: Liberty will host the Saint Joseph's Hawks, Tuesday at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.