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4-Run 7th Propels Liberty to Sweep of Longwood

April 30, 2017  Farmville, Va.  RSS
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Payton Scarbrough had two hits, including a home run, Sunday.

Payton Scarbrough had two hits, including a home run, Sunday.

Catcher Payton Scarbrough and third baseman Trey McDyre each hit a home run in a four-run seventh, muscling the Liberty Flames past the Longwood Lancers, 6-3, Sunday afternoon at Charles "Buddy" Bolding Stadium. With the win, the Flames complete a sweep of the three-game Big South series.

Trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh, Scarbrough sparked a four-run burst for the Flames by hitting his second home run of the season. After D.J. Artis plated the go-ahead run with a single, McDyre ripped his second home run of the season to give Liberty a 5-2 lead.

Scarbrough and McDyre each had two hits and collected two RBI in the contest for the Flames.

Winners of four straight games, Liberty moves to 12-6 in the Big South and 26-15 overall. In addition, the Flames have now posted a 6-1 mark on their current eight-game road trip, their longest of the season.

Longwood falls to 5-12 in conference and 13-29 overall. The Lancers have lost six straight.

Liberty right-hander Evan Mitchell and Longwood right-hander Zach Potojecki were stingy through the first five innings. Both pitchers allowed only two hits each.

Longwood plated the first run of the contest without a hit in the second. Third baseman Alex Lewis and first baseman Justin Mitchell both walked to open the inning. After second baseman Brandon Harvell moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Lewis scored on a ground out to second by right fielder Ryan Shull for a 1-0 lead.

Liberty tied the contest with a run in the top of the third. Leading off the inning, shortstop Cam Locklear walked. Two batters later, third baseman Trey McDyre singled through the left side of the infield to move Locklear to third. After left fielder Jake Barbee walked to load the bases with two out, a wild pitch by Potojecki allowed Locklear to come home to tie the game at 1-1.

Longwood took advantage of a Flames' error in the fourth to edge back in front on the scoreboard. With one out, Justin Mitchell reached on a fielding error by Liberty second baseman Andrew Kowalo. Second baseman Brandon Harvell followed with a single. Mitchell then advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on ground out by Shull for a 2-1 lead.

After being held in check by Potojecki through six, Liberty broke through for four runs to take the lead. With one out, Scarbrough got the uprising started with a drive over the left field fence, knotting the game at 2-2. Locklear then reached on a fielding error by Lancer third baseman Lewis and stole second base. Artis followed with a single to plate Locklear and give the Flames a 3-2 edge. The next batter, McDyre, belted a 1-1 offering over the left field fence, extending Liberty newly found lead to 5-2.

Liberty added an insurance run in the eighth. With two out, right fielder Will Shepherd singled, his second hit of the game, and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Scarbrough followed with a double to score Shepherd, upping the Flames lead to 6-2.

A home run by designated hitter Nate Blakeney in the bottom of the ninth provided the final score of 6-3.

Liberty reliever Eric Grabowski retired the first nine batters he faced en route to pitching a scoreless 3 2/3 innings. He allowed one hit and one run to even his mark at 1-1 on the year. He struck out one and walked one.

Longwood's Potojecki falls to 2-6. The right-hander gave up five runs on five hits over seven innings. He struck out 10 and walked four.

Liberty outhit Longwood, 7-3. The Lancers committed two errors, while the Flames made one.

Up Next: Liberty completes its road trip on Tuesday. The Flames will travel to Charlottesville, Va., to square off with the No. 10 Virginia Cavaliers. Game time at Davenport Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m.