Liberty Doubles Up Kennesaw State 12-6 at ASUN Tournament Wednesday
The No. 1 seed Liberty Flames downed the No. 3 seed Kennesaw State Owls 12-6, Wednesday in Pool A action at the ASUN Baseball Championship at Swanson Stadium.
Right fielder Aaron Anderson had two hits, including his seventh home run of the season, three RBI and two runs scored for the Flames. Liberty designated hitter Brady Gulakowski joined Anderson with two hits, a home run, three RBI and two runs scored in the game. Gulakowski’s home run was his team-leading 16th of the season.
Flames’ right-hander Max Alba pitched four scoreless innings, holding the Owls in check from the fifth through eighth innings.
After seeing Kennesaw State tie the game in the top of the fourth, the Flames took the lead for good on a two-run single by center fielder Derek Orndorff.
Liberty moves to 2-0 in Pool A play at the ASUN tournament and clinches a spot in one of the two semifinal contests on Friday. With the victory, the Flames improve to 35-20 on the season. Kennesaw State drops to 0-2 in the tournament and 32-26 overall.
Box Score Highlights
Records: Kennesaw State (32-26, 0-2 Pool A); Liberty (35-20, 2-0 Pool A)
Location: Fort Myers, Fla. (Swanson Stadium)
WP: Max Alba (3-1) | LP: Kolby Johnson (1-1)
1st INNING – LIBERTY – Hillier walks, Betts scores, 1-0
1st INNING – LIBERTY – Mathieu doubles, Orndorff and Anderson score, 3-0
1st INNING – LIBERTY – Gulakowski homers, Mathieu and Hillier score, 6-0
2nd INNING – KSU – Young homers, 6-1
2nd INNING – KSU – Jones singles, Hanson scores, 6-2
2nd INNING – KSU – Hatcher homers, Jones and Colina score, 6-5
4th INNING – KSU – Hatcher homers, 6-6
4th INNING – LIBERTY – Orndorff singles, Betts (unearned) and Keeter score, 8-6
7th INNING – LIBERTY – Betts flies out, Foster scores, 9-6
7th INNING – LIBERTY – Anderson homers, Keeter and Gulakowski scores, 12-6
– Liberty and Kennesaw State each had 11 hits in the contest. The Owls made the game’s only error.
– Each team left six men on base.
– Third baseman Cameron Foster also had two hits and scored a run for Liberty in the contest.
– Alba records the win. He scattered four hits over four innings of relief. He struck out three and walked one.
– Kennesaw State reliever Kolby Johnson takes the loss. The right-hander gave up seven runs on nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two.
– Owls’ center fielder Josh Hatcher hit two two-run home runs in the contest.
Up 8-6, the Flames pulled away with four runs in the seventh inning. With one out, Foster was hit by a pitch and moved to second on an infield single by Gulakowski. After second baseman Nathan Keeter then walked to load the bases, catcher Gray Betts followed with a sacrifice fly to score Foster for a 9-6 advantage. Anderson followed by blasting a three-run home run over the right field wall to give Liberty what proved to be the final score of 12-6.
Beyond the Box Score
– Liberty clinches a spot in the ASUN semifinals on Friday with a 2-0 record in Pool A. With a win tomorrow, the Flames will win Pool A and play the winner of Pool B on Friday.
– Liberty has won four of its seven games against Kennesaw State, this season. The two teams tied for first place in the ASUN East Division with 19-11 marks. The Flames received the tournament’s No. 1 seed by virtue of a higher RPI.
– Anderson records his team-leading 23rd multi-hit game of the year.
– Gulakowski hit two home runs in Liberty’s 4-3 win over FGCU yesterday and now has hit three in two games at the ASUN Tournament. The 2022 ASUN All-Conference designated hitter has 15 multi-hit games.
– Alba has not allowed a run in 8 2/3 innings of relief at Swanson Stadium, this season. On May 13, he held FGCU scoreless over 4 2/3 innings on the same mound he worked off of today.
– Liberty freshman Nick Moran made the first start of his collegiate career. All his previous appearances have been in relief.
No. 1 seed Liberty finishes Pool A play in the ASUN Baseball Championship on Thursday. The Flames will face the No. 2 seed Lipscomb Bisons at Jet Blue Park. Game time is scheduled for 11 a.m.