Liberty Tops No. 18 North Carolina 8-7
First baseman Logan Mathieu capped a four-run fourth with a three-run home run and second baseman Will Wagner had three hits, helping to propel the Liberty Flames past the No. 18 North Carolina Tar Heels, 8-7, Tuesday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium.
Liberty jumped out to a 7-4 lead with four two-out runs in the fourth inning. After Wagner made it 4-3 with an RBI single, Mathieu belted his team-leading fourth home run of the season over the right field wall to give the Flames a three-run advantage.
Wagner's three hits were most of any player in the contest. He drove in two runs and scored a run.
Relievers Mason Fluharty, Tyler Germanowski and Landon Riley combined to hold Liberty's one-run lead over the final two innings to close out the victory.
With five straight wins, Liberty moves to 7-5 on the year. North Carolina drops 7-4.
Box Score Highlights
Records: Liberty (7-5): North Carolina (7-4)
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C. (Boshamer Stadium)
WP: David Erickson (3-0) | LP: Nick Pry (0-2) | SV: Landon Riley (3)
LIBERTY – 1st INNING – Wilson flies out, Anderson scores, 1-0
UNC – 1st INNING – Troiani pops out, Thompson scores, 1-1
LIBERTY – 2nd INNING – Anderson walks, McDyre scores, 2-1
LIBERTY – 2nd INNING – Wagner walks, Guys scores, 3-1
UNC – 3rd INNING – Zarate homers, 3-2
UNC – 3rd INNING – Thompson homers, 3-3
LIBERTY – 4th INNING – Wagner singles, Betts scores, 4-3
LIBERTY – 4th INNING – Mathieu homers, Wilson and Wagner score, 7-3
UNC – 4th INNING – Inclan homers, 7-4
UNC – 6th INNING – Zarate singles, Grintz scores, 7-5
LIBERTY – 7th INNING – Anderson doubles, Guy scores, 8-5
UNC – 7th INNING – Holtzapple singles, Triani and Roberts score, 8-7
- Liberty and North Carolina each had 10 hits in the contest. The Tar Heels made the game's only error.
- The Flames left 10 men on base. The Tar Heels left eight men.
- Liberty left fielder Aaron Anderson had two doubles and drove in two runs.
- Flames center fielder Jaylen Guy reached base twice and scored both times. He singled and was hit by a pitch. He stole his team-leading fourth base of the year.
- Right-hander David Erickson runs his record to 3-0 on the season. Erickson allowed two runs on three hits over 3 1/3 innings of relief.
- North Carolina left fielder Angel Zarate and third baseman Clemente Inclan hit their first home run of the season. Both were solo home runs.
With Liberty leading 8-7 in the bottom of the eighth, North Carolina pinch hitter Dallas Tessar led off the inning with an infield single. Left fielder Zarate, the next batter, tried to bunt the first pitch he saw from Fluharty and pop it up. Liberty catcher Gray Betts caught the ball and threw out Tessar at first for a double play. Fluharty then got the next Tar Heel to fly out to end the frame.
Beyond the Box Score
- With the win, Liberty has won five straight contests, its longest winning streak of the season.
- Liberty ends a four-game road swing at 4-0 and evens its road record at 5-5 on the year with the victory.
- Mathieu has hit a home run in three out of the last four games. The Flames have hit at least one home run in each of their last five games and have hit a home run in 10 of their 12 games this season.
- Wagner posts his second consecutive multi-hit game and his first three-hit game of the year.
- With his fourth multi-hit game of the season, Anderson ties Gray Betts for the team lead.
Erickson made his sixth appearance of the season in the contest. He has either recorded the win or the save in four of the six outings.
- Riley has recorded a save in three of Liberty's last four games. The right-hander has not allowed a run in six relief appearances, this season.
Liberty returns home to Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium to start ASUN Conference play, this weekend. The Flames will welcome the North Alabama Lions for a three-game series, starting Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.