Left fielder Jake Barbee hit a three-run home run and first baseman Sammy Taormina belted a two-run home run, powering the Liberty Flames past the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, 6-1, Sunday at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Barbee, who had two hits in the contest, smashed the first home of his career in the first inning and scored twice for the Flames. Taormina connected for his fourth home run of the year in the fifth. The Flames first baseman's single in the 10th gave Liberty a 4-3 win over Bethune-Cookman, yesterday.
It was all the Liberty pitching staff needed, as four Flames combined to hold the Wildcats to one run on five hits in the contest.
With the win, Liberty captures the non-conference series, 2-1. The Flames move to 16-10 overall. Bethune-Cookman drops to 19-11.
Barbee's home run in the first gave Liberty an early 3-0 advantage. Wildcats starting pitcher Donte Lindsay hit center fielder D.J. Artis with a pitch and third baseman Trey McDyre walked to open the home half of the inning. Barbee followed by driving a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall to give the Flames a three-run lead.
The Wildcats scored their only run of the contest in the fourth. Center fielder Kyle Corbin, who made several outstanding plays in the outfield to take hits away from Flames in the game, drew a leadoff walk. After first baseman Danny Rodriguez was hit by a pitch with one out, right fielder Adonis Lao beat out an infield single to load the bases. Catcher Chase DeBonis scored Corbin with a ground ball to make it 3-1, Liberty.
Taormina extended the Flames' advantage in the fifth. McDyre opened the bottom half of the inning with a single. After Bethune-Cookman right-hander Tyler Krull retired the next two batters, Taormina ripped a 3-2 offering over the right field wall, upping the Liberty lead to 5-1.
The Flames tacked on a run in the seventh. Barbee began the bottom of the inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Later in the frame, second baseman Andrew Kowalo dropped a single into center field to plate Barbee with the final run of the contest and a 6-1 advantage.
Liberty starting pitcher Evan Mitchell moves to 3-1 on the season. The right-hander gave up one run on three hits over five innings. He struck out two and walked two.
The trio of Cody Gamble, Zander Clouse and Jack DeGroat followed out of the Liberty bullpen and did not allow a run the rest of the way.
Bethune-Cookman starter Lindsay falls to 1-4. He allowed three runs on one hit, before being lifted after the second inning. He walked four and struck out one.
Each time had five hits apiece in the contest. All five of the Wildcats hits were singles.
Up Next: Liberty will host the Radford Highlanders in a non-conference meeting on Tuesday. Game time at Liberty Baseball Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.