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    Liberty Rallies Late to Tie; Falls in 9th at FGCU

    May 14, 2022 | Fort Myers Fla | Baseball

    The Liberty Flames erased a three-run deficit late to tie the game, only to fall in the ninth inning to the FGCU Eagles 8-7, Friday evening at Swanson Stadium.

    The Flames fell behind 7-4 after three innings of play, only to score three unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the contest. Liberty third baseman Cameron Foster knotted the game with his second home run of the season to lead off the eighth.

    After the Flames left two men on in the top of the ninth, the host Eagles won the contest on a one-out single by first baseman Joe Kinker.

    Liberty right-hander Max Alba shut down the FGCU bats with 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He struck out six and did not walk a batter, allowing the Flames to overcome the Eagles’ three-run advantage.

    The Flames fall to 30-18 overall and 16-9 in ASUN Conference play. The host Eagles improve to 31-18 and 15-10 in the ASUN.

    Box Score Highlights
    Records: Liberty (30-18, 16-9 ASUN); FGCU (31-18, 15-10 ASUN)
    Location: Fort Myers, Fla. (Swanson Stadium)
    WP: Mason Miller (2-4) | LP: Mason Fluharty (3-3)

    Scoring Summary
    1st INNING – LIBERTY – Fielding error on a single by Anderson, Betts scores, 1-0
    1st INNING – LIBERTY – Hill reaches on a fielder’s choice, Anderson scores, 2-0
    1st INNING – LIBERTY – Orndorff scores on a wild pitch, 3-0
    1st INNING – FGCU – Farrow homers, Ellis scores, 3-2
    1st INNING – FGCU – Kinker homers, 3-3
    1st INNING – FGCU – Rodriguez homers, 4-3
    2nd INNING – LIBERTY – Betts singles, Keeter scores, 4-4
    2nd INNING – FGCU – Farrow homers, Sartori scores, 6-4
    3rd INNING – FGCU – Rodriguez scores on a wild pitch, 7-4
    7th INNING – LIBERTY – Anderson singles, Keeter scores, 7-5
    7th INNING – LIBERTY – Hill flies out, Betts scores, 7-6
    8th INNING – LIBERTY – Foster homers, 7-7
    9th INNNIG – FGCU – Kinker singles, Farrow scores, 8-7

    Notable Numbers
    – FGCU held a 13-9 advantage over Liberty in hits in the contest. The Eagles committed two errors.
    – Liberty left eight men on base. FGCU left five.
    – Flames catcher Gray Betts and right fielder Aaron Anderson each had two hits in the game. Betts had an RBI and scored twice. Anderson also had an RBI and scored a run.
    – The last of five Flames to pitch in the game, Mason Fluharty takes the loss. The left-hander gave up one run on three hits over 2/3 innings.
    – Mason Miller who retired the lone batter he faced in the top of the ninth picks up the win for FGCU.
    – Eagles left fielder Ian Farrow led all hitters with three hits in the game, including two home runs. He now has 16 on the season. He drove in three runs and scored three runs in the contest.

    Turning Point
    With the score tied 7-7 in the top of the ninth, Liberty moved the go-ahead to second with two outs. Left fielder Three Hillier was hit by a pitch and moved into scoring position on a single by shortstop Stephen Hill. The Eagles went to the bullpen for Miller who got first baseman Logan Mathieu to bounce back to him to end the inning.

    In the bottom of the ninth, Farrow and third baseman Alejandro Figueredo singled with one out. Kinker followed by lining a single into left field to plate Farrow for the victory.

    Beyond the Box Score
    – Liberty and FGCU are meeting for the first time since 2019 at Swanson Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla., this weekend.
    – The contest started an hour late due to heavy thunderstorms which moved to the area.
    – For the second straight game, the Flames fall in the bottom of the ninth inning. Virginia Tech scored two in the ninth for a 2-1 win over Liberty on Wednesday.
    – Alba’s outing was his longest relief appearance of the year. He did pitch six innings in a start against Winthrop on Feb. 27.
    – Anderson collects his team-leading 18th multi-hit game in the contest. Betts recorded his 15th multi-hit game.

    Next Up
    The Flames and Eagles will meet again tomorrow at Swanson Stadium. The middle game of the three-game series is scheduled for 2 p.m.