Liberty Takes Slugfest from Kennesaw State in Regular Season Finale 16-12
Catcher Gray Betts had three hits and drove in a career-high six RBI and senior right fielder Aaron Anderson added three hits and three RBI on Senior Day, helping to propel the Liberty Flames to a 16-12 win over the Kennesaw State Owls in the 2022 regular season finale, Saturday at Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
In a topsy-turvy game that saw the teams swap the lead with big innings throughout the first six innings, the Flames took the lead for good in the fifth on a bases-clearing double by Anderson for an 11-10 advantage.
Betts put Liberty in front with a grand slam in the second inning, his career-high sixth of the year, and later had a two-out, two-run double among his three hits. He also scored twice in the contest.
Designated hitter Brady Gulakowski collected two hits, including his 13th home run of the season in the contest.
Liberty finishes the regular season with a 33-20 overall and 19-11 in the ASUN. Kennesaw State completes the regular season at 32-24 overall and 19-11 in the ASUN. The Flames and the Owls finish the ASUN regular season tied for first in the ASUN’s East Division.
Box Score Highlights
Records: Kennesaw State (32-24, 19-11 ASUN); Liberty (33-20, 19-11 ASUN)
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium)
WP: Mason Fluharty (4-3) | LP: Miller Riggins (1-1) | SV: Tyler Germanowski (1)
1st INNING – KSU – Corbin homers, Simon and Hatcher score, 3-0
2nd INNING – LIBERTY – Betts homers, Keeter, Foster, and Hill score, 4-3
3rd INNING – LIBERTY – Mathieu flies out, Orndorff scores, 5-3
3rd INNING – LIBERTY – Gulakowski homers, Foster and Hillier score, 8-3
4th INNING – KSU – Hatcher grounds out, Colina scores, 8-4
4th INNING – KSU – Simon flies out, Mimbs scores, 8-5
5th INNING – KSU – Colina singles, Eidson scores (unearned), 8-6
5th INNING – KSU – Mimbs reached on throwing error, Hassan scores (unearned), 8-7
5th INNING – KSU – Hatcher homered (unearned), Mimbs (unearned) and Colina score (unearned), 10-8
5th INNING – LIBERTY – Anderson doubles, Betts, Keeter and Gulakowski score, 11-10
6th INNING – LIBERTY – Foster doubles, Hillier scores, 12-10
6th INNING – LIBERTY – Betts doubles, Gulakowski and Foster score, 14-10
7th INNING – LIBERTY – Orndorff scores on a wild pitch, 15-10
7th INNING – LIBERTY – Mathieu flies out, Hillier scores, 16-10
9th INNING – KSU – Simon grounds out, Colonia scores, 16-11
9th INNING – KSU – Corbin doubles, Hatcher scores, 16-12
– Liberty outhit Kennesaw State, 16-13. The Flames committed three errors, two in the fifth.
– Liberty left only six men on base. Kennesaw State stranded 11 runners.
– The Flames scored two or more runs in each of the five innings they scored.
– Third baseman Cameron Foster, left fielder Three Hillier and second baseman Nathan Keeter each had two hits for the Flames.
– Flames reliever Mason Fluharty, the second of six Liberty pitchers in the contest, records the win.
– Liberty reliever Jeremy Beamon was the first pitcher from either team to retire the side in order in the contest in the sixth. He pitched two scoreless innings, striking out four.
– Kennesaw State reliever Miller Riggins takes the loss. He was roughed up for three runs on three hits over 2/3 of an inning.
– Owls’ center fielder Josh Hatcher had four hits, a home run and four RBI in the game.
– Kennesaw State left fielder Zach Corbin had two hits, a home run and four RBI in the contest.
After the Owls took advantage of two Liberty errors to take a 10-8 advantage in the top of the fifth, the Flames struck in the bottom of the inning to go back in front. With two outs, Gulakowski and second baseman Nathan Keeter reached on back-to-back singles. The next batter, Betts, was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Anderson followed by ripping the first pitch he saw just inside the left field line and into the corner, plating all three runners for an 11-10 lead.
Over the next two innings, Liberty reliever Jeremey Beamon held Kennesaw State without a run, allowing the Flames to pull away.
Beyond the Box Score
– The Flames and Owls finish the season tied for first place in the ASUN East standings with 19-10 records. The two teams split the six games between them during the regular season, 3-3.
|- Liberty finishes the regular season 20-8 at home.
– Betts sets a personal career-high with six RBI in the game, eclipsing his previous high of five which he collected in a win at Kennesaw State on April 15.
– Before the contest, Liberty honored the 13 Flames playing in their last regular-season home game at Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Those honored were Anderson, Gulakowski, Joe Adametz III, Drew Baughman, Dylan Cumming, David Erickson, Tyler Germanowski, Josh Haney, Stephen Hill, Logan Mathieu, Tim Miller and Landon Riley.
Liberty awaits the announcement of the seedings and times for the upcoming ASUN Tournament which begins Tuesday at Swanson Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. The Flames will be in Pool A for the tournament.