Mathieu’s 2-Run 9th-Inning Home Run Gives Liberty a 9-8 Walk-off Win
First baseman Logan Mathieu's second home run of the day, a two-run shot with two out in the bottom half of the ninth inning, powered the Liberty Flames to a 9-8 walk-off victory over the Bellarmine Knights, Sunday afternoon at Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium. With the win, the Flames complete a three-game sweep of the ASUN Conference series.
Trailing 8-7 with two outs and right fielder Jake Wilson at first base, Mathieu belted the first pitch he saw from Bellarmine right-hander Reece Davis over the left center field wall for the victory. The home run was the second of the contest for Mathieu, who had a game-high three hits and drove in five runs in the contest. The first baseman has now hit a career-high 12 home runs, this season.
Designated hitter Brady Gulakowski also hit his fifth home run of the year and Jaylen Guy belted his second home run of the season for the Flames in the victory.
Liberty led 7-4 in the top of the ninth, but saw its advantage erased, as Bellarmine plated four runs. A two-out, three-run home run by second baseman Jaylen Rouse put the Knights ahead for the first time in the contest, heading to the bottom of the ninth.
Liberty improves to 30-11 overall and 14-1 overall in the ASUN. The Flames have won 10 consecutive ASUN Conference contests. Bellarmine falls to 12-27 overall and 7-14 in the ASUN.
Box Score Highlights
Records: Bellarmine (12-27, 7-14 ASUN); Liberty (30-11, 14-1 ASUN)
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium)
WP: Landon Riley (2-0) | LP: Reece Davis (0-4)
LIBERTY – 1st INNING – Gulakowski walked, Betts scores, 1-0
LIBERTY – 2nd INNING – Guy homers, 2-0
LIBERTY – 3rd INNING – Mathieu homers, Locklear and Wilson score, 5-0
BELL – 6th INNING – Rouse walks, Crane scores, 5-1
BELL – 6th INNING – Ockerman reaches on a fielding error, Mehlbauer scores, 5-2
BELL – 6th INNING – Finerty singles, Rouse and McCauley scores, 5-4
LIBERTY – 7th INNING – Gulakowski homers, Wagner scores, 7-4
BELL – 9th INNING – Mehlbauer singles, Higgins scores, 7-5
BELL – 9th INNING – Rouse homers, Mulcahy and Mehlbauer score, 8-7
LIBERTY – 9th INNING – Mathieu homers, Wilson scores, 9-8
- Liberty outhit Bellarmine, 12-7, in the contest. Each team committed an error.
- Each team left nine men on base.
- Liberty scored eight of its nine runs in the game with two out, while seven of Bellarmine's eight runs came with two out.
- Flames left fielder Aaron Anderson, catcher Gray Betts and shortstop Cam Locklear had two hits apiece in the game.
- Wilson reached base three times in the game with a single and two walks and scored twice.
- Gulakowski had three RBI in the contest, as he also walked with the bases loaded.
- Liberty starter Trey Gibson pitched five scoreless innings, before running into trouble in the sixth. The right-hander allowed four runs, only one earned, on three hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked four.
- Bellarmine shortstop Clayton Mehlbauer had three hits and an RBI and scored two runs.
Beyond the Box Score
- With the win, the Flames have clinched home field advantage for the first weekend quarterfinal series of the ASUN Tournament.
- The Flames moves to 19-2 at Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
- Liberty's four home runs in the contest are a season high.
- Mathieu hits two home runs in a game for the second time, this season. The first baseman also posts his third game with four or more RBI.
- For the second straight day, Gulakowski drives in three or more runs in a contest. The designated hitter had four RBI, yesterday. He has hit a home run in three of his last five games.
- Betts had two hits for the third consecutive game. The catcher now has 16 multi-hit games and extends his reached base safely streak to 30 consecutive games. It is the longest such streak for a Flame this season.
- Anderson hit his ASUN-leading 17th double of the season and with two hits, he posts his team-leading 17th hit of the game.
- Locklear, who played in his 230th career game today, posts his 10th multi-hit game of the year. He also extended his reached base safely streak to 21 consecutive games. It is the longest such streak of the season for the shortstop.
- Wilson singled in the ninth and walked twice in the contest. He has reached base safely in 18 consecutive games. It is the longest such streak for Wilson, this season.
Liberty travels to Winston-Salem, N.C., for a midweek contest against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Game time at David F. Couch Ballpark is scheduled for 3 p.m.