Ryan Cordell had three hits, including two doubles, Saturday.
UNC Asheville pitcher Ryan Dull held Liberty in check, as the Bulldogs shutout the Flames, 2-0, Saturday afternoon in a Big South contest at Greenwood Field.
Dull did not allow a run during the first 7 1/3 innings, tying a career-high with 11 strikeouts. The senior right-hander scattered seven hits and walked one to run his record to 3-4 on the season. Brian Connolly pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn his second save of the year.
Dull outdueled Liberty starter John Niggli, handing the senior his first setback of the season (7-1). Niggli allowed two runs on seven hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out four and walked four batters. Liberty center fielder Ryan Cordell was the only Flame to solve Dull on the afternoon, collecting three hits, including two doubles.
Liberty falls to 31-12 overall and 9-5 in Big South Conference play. The setback was the first time this season that the Flames have been shutout. UNC Asheville moves to 19-21 overall and 8-9 in conference action. The host Bulldogs stake themselves to a 1-0 lead in the third inning. With one out, third baseman Cody Buch hit his second home run of the season over the left wall to give UNC Asheville the advantage.
In the Liberty fourth inning, Cordell lined a leadoff double down the left field line and moved to third on a ground out by second baseman Bryan Aanderud against Dull. But, Dull struck out the next two batters to strand Cordell.
The Bulldogs added to their lead during the fifth. With two outs, Asheville used three consecutive hits to plate their second run. Left fielder Cody Adkins singled and moved to second on single by Buch. Second baseman Eli Miller followed with a double to left field, scoring Adkins to push Asheville's edge to 2-0. In the sixth, the Bulldogs looked to extend their lead, loading the bases with one out. But, Niggli was able to get Asheville designated hitter Billy Creighton to ground into the fourth double play of the game turned by the Flames to end the threat.
Adkins, Buch and Creighton each collected two hits for the Bulldogs. Liberty and UNC Asheville will meet tomorrow in their final game of their Big South series at Greeenwood Field. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.