The Liberty Flames plated a season-high for runs and pounded out a season-high for hits in a 26-1 win over the James Madison Dukes in a game shortened to seven innings, Tuesday evening at Veterans Memorial Park.
Liberty scored 10 runs in the second inning and 14 runs in the fourth inning, en route to eclipsing its previous season-high for runs of 17, reached in a win at Charleston Southern on March 25. In addition, the Flames collected 21 hits setting a season-high for the second straight game. Liberty had 19 hits in a 13-3 win over Radford on Sunday.
Liberty moves to 20-11 on the season and has won four straight games to tie its longest win streak of 2017. James Madison falls to 17-14. The Dukes have lost 10 out of their last 13.
The Flames take both of their contests with the Dukes this season. Liberty defeated James Madison, 5-1, at Liberty Baseball Stadium on March 21.
Liberty sent 15 men to the plate in top of the second, pounding out seven hits and building a 10-0 lead. With one out, second baseman Andrew Kowalo walked and advanced to third on a double to left field by right fielder Will Shepherd.
After catcher Matt Allen walked to load the bases, shortstop Cam Locklear singled to score Kowalo with the first run of the contest. Center fielder D.J. Artis followed with a two-run single through the right side of the infield for a 3-0 advantage. Third baseman Trey McDyre then chased James Madison starter Tucker McCoy with a RBI double and upping the Flames' edge to 4-0.
Later in the inning, designated hitter Eric Grabowski dropped a run-scoring single into center for the fifth tally of the frame and Kowalo became the 10th straight Liberty batter to reach base with a two-run single. Two batters later, Allen singled sharply to left to plate the ninth run of the inning and when Dukes left fielder Ky Parrott misplayed the Allen's base hit, the final run of the inning scored for a 10-0 Liberty lead.
James Madison scored an unearned run in the bottom of the inning. Third baseman Ryan Lynch reached on an error by Liberty shortstop Locklear with one out and later scored on a two-out single by Parrott.
Liberty added two runs in the third. With two outs, Kowalo drew a bases loaded walk to force in a run. James Madison reliever Christian Bourne then hit Shepherd, Liberty's next batter, with a pitch to give the Flames a 12-1 advantage.
For the second time in the contest, Liberty batted around. Eighteen Flames came to the play during in the inning, as Liberty plated 14 runs on 13 hits. The Flames' second big inning pushed its lead to 26-1.
Flames starting pitcher Jackson Bertsch records his first win at Liberty. The right-hander moves to 1-3 on the year. He gave up and unearned run on four hits over five innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Dukes starting pitcher Tucker McCoy drops to 0-1. The left-hander allowed six runs on four hits over 1 1/3-plus innings. He struck out one and walked three.
All nine batters in Liberty's starting line-up had at least one hit in the contest. Artis McDyre and Barbee each had three hits apiece for the Flames. Artis drove in a game-high four runs, while McDyre had three RBI and three runs scored.
James Madison was held to four hits by Bertsch and reliever Mike Stafford.
Up Next: Liberty returns home for a three-game series against the Winthrop Eagles, beginning Thursday. First pitch of the Big South series is scheduled for 6 p.m.