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Barbee Homers as Liberty Takes Game 1 from Radford

April 8, 2017  Radford, Va.  RSS
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Jake Barbee hit a three-run home run in Liberty's game one victory, Saturday.

Jake Barbee hit a three-run home run in Liberty's game one victory, Saturday.

Left fielder Jake Barbee belted a three-run home run and Liberty took advantage of a season-high eight Radford errors in a 9-5 victory in game one of a Big South doubleheader, Saturday at RU Baseball Stadium.

Barbee capped a four-run fourth inning with a three-run home run, his second of the year. The senior left fielder also had two hits, stole a base and scored three times in the win.

Meanwhile, Liberty's first six runs of the contest were unearned, as Radford made six of its eight errors during the first four innings.

Liberty right-hander Caleb Evans pitched six scoreless innings, before giving way to the bullpen, to run his record to 5-2 on the season. He scattered four hits over the six innings, striking out six and walking three.

Liberty moves to 5-2 in Big South play and 17-11 overall. Radford falls to 3-4 in conference and 13-16 overall.

An error by the Highlanders allowed the visiting Flames to a take a 2-0 lead. Center fielder D.J. Artis and third baseman Trey McDyre each walked to open the contest. After retiring the next two batters, Radford pitcher Danny Hrbek appeared to be out of the inning by inducing a fly ball to center field by designated hitter Eric Grabowski. However, Highlanders center fielder Adam Whitacare dropped the fly and Artis and McDyre scored for a two-run Flames' advantage.

Liberty used another Radford miscue to tally a run in the third. Highlanders shortstop Clayton Baine dropped a fly ball into shallow center field by Barbee to open the inning. After Barbee stole the first base of his career, Grabowski lined a single to left, moving the runner to third. Second baseman Andrew Kowalo followed with a sacrifice fly to right, plating Barbee and giving the Flames a 3-0 edge.

Liberty broke the contest open in its next at bat. Catcher Matt Allen led off the fourth inning with a single. Shortstop Cam Locklear then dropped a sacrifice bunt down to move Allen to second and when Radford catcher Jonathan Gonzalez overthrew first base, Allen advanced to third. Highlanders pitcher Hrbek tried to pick off Locklear at first, but first baseman Spencer Horwitz missed the throw, allowing Allen to score for a 4-0 advantage. After McDyre walked for the second time in the contest, Barbee greeted Radford reliever Austin Gerber with a blast over the right field wall for a 7-0 lead.

The Flames tacked on another run in the fifth. Kowalo and right fielder Will Shepherd each walked to open the inning. After Allen moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Locklear scored Kowalo with a groundout to give Liberty an 8-0 advantage.

Radford spoiled the shutout with three runs in the seventh, while both teams plated runs in the eighth.

Hrbek falls to 2-3 on the year. The right-hander allowed six runs, only one earned, on four hits over 3 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three. Radford pitchers combined to walk eight Flames in the contest.

Liberty collected nine hits in the contest. Radford had 11 hits.

Up Next: Liberty and Radford will meet in game two of the twinbill. First pitch is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.