Cody Brown hit a solo home run and drove in the game-winning run in Liberty's victory Saturday night.
Cody Brown drove home Tim Rotola in the 10th inning, pushing the Liberty Flames past the South Alabama Jaguars, 4-3, Saturday night in the fifth game of the Coca-Cola Classic at Stanky Field. With the win, Liberty moves to 2-1 on the season. South Alabama falls to 1-2 on the year. Trailing 3-2 in the top of the ninth inning, Liberty struck with two outs to tie the contest. Third baseman Tyler Bream (Fr., Zelienople, Pa.) kept the Flames alive by rocketing a double off the right-center field wall. Shortstop Matt Williams (Fr., Franklin, Tenn.) followed with a single to chase home Bream and tie the game, 3-3. South Alabama's Clint Reynolds, who stayed in the contest as the center fielder after pinch running in the fifth inning, lined a triple off the left field wall with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. However, reliever Andrew Wilson (Sr., RHP, Cary, N.C.), who entered the game in the sixth inning, induced second baseman Zach Grichor to ground out, sending the game to extra frames. The Flames plated the game-winning run in their next at bat. Right fielder Rotola (Sr., Wichita, Kan.) singled through the hole between the shortstop and third baseman to open the inning, and two batters later, moved to second on a single by left fielder Jeff Jefferson (So., Danville, Va.). Brown (Sr., Cumming, Ga.), the designated hitter, lined a single off the glove of Jaguar first baseman Brian Bohanan to plate Rotola with the winning run. Wilson shut down host South Alabama in the bottom of the 10th inning to seal the Liberty comeback.
The Flames jumped out to an early lead in the second inning on solo home runs by Brown and Errol Hollinger (Sr., C, Upland, Calif.). Leading off the frame, Brown ripped the first pitch from Jaguar starter Mark Etheridge over the left-field wall for his first home run of the year and a 1-0 Liberty advantage. Two batters later, Hollinger blasted his second round tripper of the day over the left center field wall, giving Liberty a 2-0 edge. The senior catcher hit his first home run of the year in the Flames' 5-2 win over South Alabama earlier in the day. The host Jaguars tied the contest in the bottom of the third frame. Left fielder Nathaniel Lami singled to open the inning and advanced to third base on a single by the next batter, center fielder Adam Heisler. Heisler moved to second on a throwing error by Flames center fielder Curran Redal (Jr., Moses Lake, Wash.). South Alabama plated its first run of the contest on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Zach Grichor. First baseman Ryan Bohanan followed with a run-scoring single, knotting the game at 2-2. In the bottom in the fifth, the Jaguars pushed across a run to take a 3-2 advantage. Heisler led off the inning with a single up the middle. After Reynolds entered the game to pinch run for Heisler, Bohanan singled to right center field, moving the South Alabama runner to third. Reynolds then scored on a fielder's choice ground out by catcher David Doss. Liberty threatened in the top of the sixth, putting two runners aboard with one out. Brown was hit by a pitch and first baseman Trey Wimmer (Fr., Greenwood, S.C.) singled sharply to left field, chasing Etheridge. However, Jaguar reliever Brandon Brown retired the next two Flames hitters to end the threat. Liberty starter Shawn Teufel (Jr., LHP, Tequista, Fla.) did not figure in the decision in his first-ever pitching outing as a Flame. The left-hander allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits over five innings, striking out four. Winning pitcher Wilson did not allow a run over the final five innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked one, while scattering two hits. South Alabama starter Etheridge did not factor in the decision. The right-hander gave up two runs on six hits, striking out three and walking two in 5 1/3 innings. Brown, the second Jaguar hurler, yielded the tying run in the ninth and left the contest after four innings of work. Greg Johnson took the loss, allowing the winning run on three hits in the 10th inning. Brown paced the Liberty with three hits in the contest. Jefferson and Redal added two hits each for the Flames. Bohanan had three hits for South Alabama, while teammates Heisler and third baseman Jake Overstreet had two hits apiece. The Flames complete their season-opening four games at the Coca-Cola Classic tomorrow morning, when they square off against the Mercer Bears. Game time is scheduled for 11 a.m.