Catcher Jonathan Embry hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie, propelling the Liberty Flames to a 5-3 victory over the Kennesaw State Owls, Friday evening at Stillwell Baseball Stadium.
After the Owls tied the game with a run in bottom of the sixth, Embry belted his team-leading eighth home run of the season over the right field wall with a runner aboard for a 5-3 advantage the Flames never relinquished.
Liberty starter Andrew McInvale allowed three runs on seven hits in recording his ASUN-leading eighth victory. Evan Brabrand did not allow a run over the final two innings to earn his 10th save of the year.
With the victory, the Flames snap a three-game losing skid and move to 31-14 overall and 11-4 in ASUN Conference play. The Owls fall to 21-25 overall and 7-9 in conference action.
Box Score Highlights Records: Liberty (31-14, 11-5 ASUN); Kennesaw State (21-25, 7-9 ASUN) Location: Kennesaw, Ga. (Fred Stillwell Baseball Stadium) Attendance: 402 WP: Andrew McInvale (8-1) | LP: Brooks Buckler (2-5) | SV: Evan Brabrand (10)
Scoring Summary LIBERTY – 3rd INNING – Locklear singles, Betts scores, 1-0 LIBERTY – 4th INNING – Mathieu doubles, Rohrer scores, 2-0 LIBERTY – 4th INNING – Highfill grounds out, Mathieu scores, 3-0 KSU – 4th INNING – Russell homers, Hodges scores, 3-2 KSU – 6th INNING – Norman doubles, Franklin scores, 3-3 LIBERTY – 7th INNING – Embry homers, Guy scores, 5-3
Notable Numbers - Kennesaw State collected eight hits in the contest. Liberty had seven. Neither team committed an error.
- Shortstop Cam Locklear led the Flames with two hits and drove in a run.
- Neither McInvale nor Brabrand issued a walk in the contest.
- Kennesaw State's designated hitter Justin Russell was one of three Owls with two hits in the contest. Russell also hit his sixth home run of the season in the fourth inning.
Turning Point With one away in the top of the seventh and center fielder Jaylen Guy on first with one out, Embry jumped on a 1-0 pitch from Kennesaw State right-hander Brooks Butler and lined a home run over the right field wall to give the Flames a 5-3 lead.
Beyond the Box Score - The Flames have not lost a Friday night game this season. With its win tonight, Liberty moves to 9-0 on Fridays.
- Liberty played in the state of Georgia for the first time this season.
- The game was delayed 41 minutes due to lightning in the middle of the fourth inning. It is the first time this season that the Flames have been involved in a delay due to lightning or rain.
- For only the second time this season, someone other than Jonathan Embry was the Liberty leadoff hitter. Left fielder Gray Betts led off for the Flames, this evening. Embry batted second in the lineup.
- With 10 saves on the season, Brabrand ties for third in program history for saves in a single season. The right-hander ties Ashton Perritt (2013) and Josh Brey (2001).
- Locklear has had two or more hits in seven of Liberty's last 11 games. The shortstop ties Embry and second baseman Will Wagner for the team lead in multi-hit games with 13.
- Betts walked and scored in the third to extend his reached base safely in 20 consecutive contests. However, his 10-game hitting streak, a career-high, came to an end.
Up Next The Flames and Owls will meet again, tomorrow at Stillwell Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.