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Flames Take Season Opener over Gamecocks in Extra Innings

February 15, 2019  Columbia, S.C.  RSS
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Will Wagner had three hits, including a home run in Friday's victory.

Will Wagner had three hits, including a home run in Friday's victory.

After second baseman Will Wagner hit a home run with two outs to tie the game in the top of the ninth, third baseman Tyler Galazin scored on a two-out wild pitch in the 11th inning for a 6-5 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks, Friday to open the 2019 season at Founders Park. Liberty overcame three deficits on scoreboard for the win.

Wagner led all batters in the contest with three hits, including his first career home run in the ninth. The Flames move to 1-0 on the year, while South Carolina drops to 0-1.

Box Score Highlights
Liberty (1-0); South Carolina (0-1)
Location: Columbia, S.C. (Founders Park)
Attendance: 7,507
WP: Evan Brabrand (1-0) | LP: John Gilreath (0-1)

Scoring Summary
SC – 2nd INNING – Allen homers, Berryhill and Olson score, 3-0
LIBERTY – 3rd INNING – Locklear triples, Wagner, Galazin and Embry score, 3-3
SC – 5th INNING – Eyster doubles, Cullen scores, 4-3
LIBERTY – 8th INNING – Guy doubles, Heid scores, 4-4
SC – 8th INNING – Hopkins homers, 5-4
LIBERTY – 9th INNING – Wagner homers, 5-5
LIBERTY – 11th INNING – Galazin scores on wild pitch, 6-5

Notable Numbers
- South Carolina outhit Liberty, 10-8.

- Liberty, which walked 6.13 times per game last season, drew six walks in the contest.

- Wagner posted his first multi-hit game and hit the first home run of his career in the contest. The sophomore recorded three hits, walked twice and scored two runs in the contest.

- Flames shortstop Cam Locklear collected two hits, including a bases-loaded, two-out double in the third. The junior ties a career-high with three RBI.

- Right-hander Evan Brabrand picks up his first win at Liberty. The reliever pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits. He struck out four and walked one.

- In his first appearance in a Liberty uniform, starting pitcher Andrew McInvale gave up four runs, three earned, over five innings. The right-hander struck out eight and walked one.

- South Carolina designated hitter Brady Allen was the only Gamecock with more than one hit in the contest. Allen had two hits, including a three-run home run.

Turning Point
- Trailing 5-4 with two outs in the top of the ninth, Wagner ripped a 1-1 pitch over the right field wall to tie the game at 5-5.

Beyond the Box Score
- In the 47 years of Liberty Baseball, today was the first time that a season opener has gone into extra innings.
- The Flames have opened their season on the road 13 of the past 14 years.

- Today's meeting was the second time Liberty and South Carolina have opened the season against each other. The two met in a three-game series to start the 2013 season.

- Flames shortstop Cam Locklear started his 56th consecutive game today. The junior shortstop has started 110 of a possible 114 during his career.

- Former Liberty and South Carolina head coach, Bobby Richardson, was one of the 7,057 fans in attendance at the contest. Richardson helmed the Liberty program from 1987-90 and headed up South Carolina from 1970-76.

Up Next
The Flames and Gamecocks will met again, tomorrow afternoon at Founders Park. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.