The Liberty Flames rallied with three runs in the eighth inning to cut their deficit to one run, before falling to the Jacksonville Dolphins 7-4, Sunday afternoon at John Sessions Stadium. With the victory, Jacksonville takes the ASUN Conference series, two games to one. It is the first time this season that Liberty has dropped a three-game conference series.
Jacksonville scored four runs in the third inning to take a 5-1 lead, which it never relinquished.
Three Flames had two hits in the game, including designated hitter Ben Highfill, whose two-out double plated two runs in the top of the eighth to trim the Jacksonville lead to 5-4.
Liberty falls to 10-5 in the ASUN and 30-13 overall. Jacksonville improves to 9-9 in ASUN play and 23-20 overall.
Box Score Highlights Records: Liberty (30-13, 10-5 ASUN); Jacksonville (23-20, 9-9 ASUN) Location: Jacksonville, Fla. (John Sessions Stadium) Attendance: 286 WP: Austin Temple (3-2) | LP: Noah Skirrow (3-4) | SV: Zach Bryant (8)
Scoring Summary JU – 1st INNIING – Cassala doubles, Juylia scores, 1-0 LIBERTY – 3rd INNING – Wagner doubles, Embry scores, 1-1 JU – 3rd INNING – Cassala singles, Dubrule and Juylia score, 3-1 JU – 3rd INNING – Southern doubles, Cassala and Camacho score, 5-1 LIBERTY – 8th INNING – McDyre flies out, Locklear scores, 5-2 LIBERTY – 8th INNING – Highfill doubles, Betts and Heid score, 5-4 JU – 8th INNING – Throwing error by second baseman, Cassala scores, 6-4 JU – 8th INNING – Fielding error by shortstop, Hunter scores, 7-4
Notable Numbers - Jacksonville outhit Liberty, 9-8.
- Liberty left 10 men on base, while Jacksonville left seven.
-The Flames committed a season-high four errors in the contest. The Dolphins did not make an error.
- First baseman Logan Mathieu and second baseman Will Wagner joined Highfill,who recorded his second multi-hit game of the year, with two hits in the contest. Mathieu collected two hits in a contest for the second straight game.
- Flames relievers Garret Price and Mason Meyer allowed only two runners to reach, both on errors, from the fifth through seven innings.
- Dolphins right-hander Austin Temple held the Flames to one run on three hits over six innings in recording the victory.
- Jacksonville first baseman John Cassala led all hitters in the game with three hits and three RBI.
Turning Point After the Flames tied it in the top of the third inning at 1-1, the Dolphins countered with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Jacksonville used three hits and walk with one out to take a 5-1 advantage.
Beyond the Box Score - The Flames drop their first three-game weekend series since their season-opening series at South Carolina, Feb. 15-17.
- Liberty left 10 or more men on base in each game of the three-game series and a total of 35.
- Left fielder Gray Betts extended his hitting streak to a career high nine games with a single in the eighth inning. In addition, the freshman has reached base safely in 18 consecutive contests.
- Catcher Jonathan Embry walked twice in the contest to run his reached base safely streak to 19 games, a season-high.
Up Next Liberty travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., for a rematch with the No. 15-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, Tuesday. Earlier in the season, the Flames defeated the Tar Heels 2-0 on March 19 at Liberty Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.