Liberty Sinks UNF 4-3 in Series Opener
First baseman Logan Mathieu drove in three runs and reliever Evan Brabrand stranded the tying run at third base in eighth and ninth innings, as the Liberty Flames edged the North Florida Ospreys 4-3, Friday evening at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Mathieu belted his third home run of the season in the second inning and lifted a sacrifice fly in the fourth to collect three RBI in the ASUN Conference series opener between the two teams.
Brabrand, who came on in the seventh in relief of starter Andrew McInvale, gave up two hits over the last 2 2/3 innings to hold the Liberty lead and close out the victory.
Liberty moves to 3-1 in the ASUN Conference and 19-6 overall. The Flames have won three straight and eight of their last 10 games. UNF drops to 2-2 in conference play and 16-12 overall.
Box Score Highlights
Records: North Florida (16-12, 2-2 ASUN); Liberty (19-6, 3-1 ASUN)
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Liberty Baseball Stadium)
WP: Andrew McInvale (6-0) | LP: Brad Deppermann (2-2) | SV: Evan Brabrand (8)
LIBERTY- 2nd INNING – Mathieu homers, Rohrer scores, 2-0
UNF – 3rd INNING – Hurwitz doubles, Murphy scores, 2-1
UNF – 4th INNING – Reynolds singles, Weeks scores, 2-2
LIBERTY – 4th ININNG – Mathieu flies out, Galazin scores, 3-2
LIBERTY – 4th INNING – Locklear doubles, Rohrer scores, 4-2
UNF – 7th INNING – Reynolds grounds out, Weeks scores, 4-3
– UNF outhit Liberty, 9-7, in the contest. The Flames made the game's only error in the fourth.
– Brabrand stranded runners in scoring position during each of the last three innings. The right-hander entered the game with a runner at second and one out in the seventh and worked his way out of the jam. In the eighth and the ninth, the Ospreys advanced runner to third with two out in each inning, but were prevented from scoring.
– McInvale wins for the sixth time in his last six starts. The right-hander gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits. He struck out six and walked one.
– Liberty left fielder Brandon Rohrer had two hits, his third consecutive multi-hit game.
– UNF pitcher Brad Depperman went the distance. He gave up four runs on seven hits over eight innings. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
With a run already in and the tying run at second base with one out, Brabrand relieved McInvale in the seventh inning. The redshirt senior promptly struck out the first batter he faced, before ending the threat and preserving Liberty's one-run lead by inducing a ground ball to shortstop Cam Locklear to end the inning.
Beyond the Box Score
– The Flames have yet to drop a game on Friday this season. With this evening's victory, Liberty moves to 6-0 on Fridays.
– With six victories this season, McInvale is tied for the national lead in wins.
– Brabrand has either recorded a victory or a save in each of his 10 appearances this season and has not yet allowed a run in over 24 innings of relief in 2019. He is among the national leaders and is the ASUN leader with eight saves.
– It is the third time this season that Mathieu has had three or more RBI in a game.
– Rohrer has had hit in each of his last five games. He has had multiple hits in four of those contests.
– Locklear's double with two out in the seventh was the shortstop's 17th RBI of the season and his eighth two-out RBI of the year.
?The Flames and Ospreys will meet again tomorrow at Liberty Baseball Stadium in the middle game of their three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.