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Flames Remain Unbeaten with Win over Seahawks

February 28, 2010  Wilmington, N.C.  RSS
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Steven Evans ran his record to 2-0, Sunday.

Steven Evans ran his record to 2-0, Sunday.

Third baseman Tyler Bream had four hits and drove in three runs, backing a strong pitching effort by Steven Evans, as the Liberty Flames remained unbeaten with a 12-2 victory over the UNC Wilmington Seahawks, Sunday in the final game of the Hughes Brothers Challenge at Brooks Stadium.

Liberty moves to 6-0 on the season. It is the first time since 1995 the Flames have started a year at 6-0. Liberty started 1995 with a 9-0 mark. In addition, it is the best start in the three-year tenure of Flames Head Coach Jim Toman. UNC Wilmington falls to 3-3 on the season.

For the second time this season, Bream (So., Zelienople, Pa.) was 4-for-5 in the contest. The third baseman's four hits included his second home run of the year. He drove in three runs in the game.

Evans (Jr., LHP, Amherst, Va.) kept the UNC Wilmington hitters off balance over 6 2/3 innings to run his mark to 2-0. The left-hander allowed two runs on six hits, striking out four and walking one.

Liberty opened the contest with a run in their first at bat. Shortstop Matt Williams (So., Franklin, Tenn.) led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by second baseman P.J. Jimenez (Sr., Yucaipa, Calif.). After Williams advanced to third base on a ground out, Bream dropped a single inside the right field line to plate the shortstop for a 1-0 Flames' advantage.

In the bottom of the inning, host UNC Wilmington loaded the bases with two outs against Liberty starter Steven Evans (Jr., LHP, Amherst, Va.). However, the left-hander stranded the base runners by getting left fielder Grayson Evans to fly out to right field to end the frame.

Liberty plated four runs in the third frame to extend its advantage to 5-0. Williams opened the inning by lining a double into the right-center field gap and plated the first run of the frame, when Jimenez singled sharply up the middle. After Redal reached on a bunt base hit, Bream grounded to second base, which was misplayed by Ben Thielsen for an error, allowing Jimenez to score. Catcher Nathan Thompson (Sr.,
Stoneville, N.C.) followed by rocketing a double off the right-center field wall to cash in Redal with the third run of the inning. Bream then added the final run of the frame, scoring on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Michael Robertson (So., Everett, Wash.).

The Seahawks got on the scoreboard in bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Grayson Evans connected for a solo home run, his first round tripper of the year, to make it, 5-1, Flames.

In the sixth, shortstop Josh Richardson (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) upped the Liberty lead. With two outs, the freshman turned on a 1-0 offering from UNC Wilmington reliever Steve Davis, and blasted a solo home run in his first collegiate at bat, giving the Flames a five-run cushion at 6-1. Richardson had entered the contest in the fourth inning.

The Seahawks cut into the Liberty advantage in the seventh with their second home run of the game. With two outs, right fielder Dakota Piver hit a solo home run to left-center field, trimming the Flames lead to 6-2.

Liberty put the game out of reach in the top of the eighth with its second four-run inning of the afternoon. First baseman Trey Wimmer (So., Greenwood, S.C.) ripped a double off the left-center field wall to open the frame and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kenneth Negron (Sr., Kingwood, Texas), who had entered the contest in the seventh. The next batter, Richardson, walked and stole second base. On the play, Seahawk catcher Cody Stanley's throw got away from the middle infielders, allowing Wimmer to score. Two batters later, Redal singled to left to cash in Richardson for an 8-2 Flame edge. Bream capped the four-run burst, with his second home run of the season over the 360 sign in left-center field to up the Liberty lead to 10-2.

The Flames added two runs on Robertson's first home run of the season in the ninth for the final score of 12-2.

Seahawk starter Daniel Cropper, who was this past week's CAA pitcher of the week, falls to 0-1 on the year. The Flames roughed up the right hander, reaching him for five runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings. The first of seven UNC Wilmington pitchers in the contest, Cropper struck out four.

Liberty's three pitchers in the game did not let a leadoff hitter reach in any inning during the contest, while the Flames put their first hitter of the frame on in six of their nine chances.

Liberty completes a seven-game road swing to open the 2010 season with a visit to Richmond, Va., to square off with the VCU Rams, Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.