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Liberty Takes Suspended Game from Coastal Carolina

April 22, 2006  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty scored five times in the third inning to take a lead it never relinquished as the Flames downed the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, 6-4, on Sunday at Worthington Stadium in the completion of Saturday's suspended game between the two teams.  The contest had been halted in the seventh inning on Saturday afternoon with the Flames leading 6-3 and a Chanticleer runner on third base with two outs due to lightning and heavy rains.
Liberty jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning.  Michael Just (Sr., 2B, Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) singled with one out and advanced to second on a balk.  Phillip Laurent (Sr., LF, Cantrall, Ill.) then singled sharply to right field to score Just.
Coastal Carolina knotted the score with a single run in the top of the third inning.  After first baseman Chris Raber was hit by a pitch, second baseman Adam Vrable doubled down the left field line to score Raber.
In the bottom of the inning, the Flames erupted for five runs for a 6-1 lead.  Chad Miller (Sr., 3B, Wheat Ridge, Colo.) opened the frame with a double to the right field corner and scored on a single by Just.  Aaron Grijalva (r-So., 1B, Redlands, Calif.) followed with a double to put runners on second and third for Laurent, who drove in Just with a RBI single.  Grijalva came home on a wild pitch for Liberty's fourth run of the inning.  The batter Abe Yeakel (Jr., DH, Kutztown, Pa.) then scored Laurent with a well executed squeeze bunt for a 5-1 advantage.  After being hit by a pitch, P.K. Keller (So., CF, St. Petersburg, Fla.) advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a RBI single by Phil John (Jr., RF, Linwood, N.J.).
The Chanticleers cut into the lead to 6-2 with a run in the sixth inning as designated hitter John Mariotti hit a solo home run, his sixth of the season.
Coastal Carolina added one in the seventh inning.  With a light rain falling and runners on second and third and one out, Mariotti grounded out to first to score Raber, who singled to lead off the inning.  The rain then turned heavy and the game was halted. 
After a 40 minute delay, thunder began in the area and officials decided to suspend the game. 
When play resumed Sunday afternoon, new Liberty pitcher Tim John (Jr., RHP, Linwood, N.J.) walked left fielder Brant Peacher, then center fielder David Sappelt drove in Matt Sutton from third base with a single through the left side to cut the Flames' advantage to 6-4.  John struck out catcher Mike Fuentes to end the threat as Coastal went quietly in the eighth and ninth innings.
Flames' starter Michael Solbach (r-So., RHP, Woodbridge, Va.) was still in the game and had three runs on 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings.  John earned his third save of the season, allowing no runs on two hits over 2 1/3 innings.
Chanticleer starter Mike Valter pitched 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs on eight hits.   Bobby Gagg relieved and had scattered four hits over 3 1/3 innings. Travis Risser pitched both innings Sunday, allowing no runs on one hit.
For Liberty, the top three in the order had nine of the 13 hits as Just was 4-for-5 on the afternoon and Miller was 3-for-5. Peacher was 3-for-4 with a walk while Sappelt was 3-for-5 with a run-batted-in for Coastal Carolina.