Wagner Blasts Home Run, as Liberty Downs Campbell 4-1 in Season Opener
Liberty second baseman Will Wagner homered and relievers David Erickson and Fraser Ellard held Campbell scoreless over the final five innings, as the Flames downed the Camels 4-1, for a season-opening victory, Friday evening at Jim Perry Stadium.
Leading 2-1 in the top of the seventh inning, Wagner ripped a 2-0 pitch over the right field wall to extend the Liberty advantage to 4-1. Meanwhile on the mound, Erickson and Ellard combined to allowed only four bases runners over the final five innings to close out the win.
Liberty moves to 1-0. Campbell falls to 0-1.
Box Score Highlights
Records: Liberty (1-0); Campbell (0-1)
Location: Buies Creek, N.C. (Jim Perry Stadium)
WP: David Erickson (1-0) | LP: Cam Cowen (0-1) I SV: Fraser Ellard (1)
CAMPBELL – 2nd INNING – Christian flies out, Packard scores, 1-0
LIBERTY – 4th INNING – Rohrer singles, Gulakowski scores, 1-1
LIBERTY – 4th INNING – Guy reaches on throwing error, McDyre scores, 2-1
LIBERTY – 7th INNING – Wagner homers, Guy scores, 4-1
- Liberty outhit Campbell, 6-5, in the contest. The Camels made two errors, one costly. The Flames did not make an error.
- The Flames left seven men on base, while the Camels stranded six runners.
- Liberty batters struck out just five times in the contest.
- Flames pitchers Trevor Delaite, Erickson and Fraser combined to strikeout 13 Camels and walk only two.
- Delaite, making his Liberty debut, allowed one run on three hits over the first four innings. He struck out five and walked one.
- Erickson gave up one hit, striking out five in relief of Delaite and retired the last five batters he faced, striking out four.
- Ellard earned a save in his first appearance as a Flame. He yielded two hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter over the final three innings.
- For the second time in his career, Will Wagner hit a home run in a season opener. The junior second baseman belted a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth to tie the game in Liberty's 6-5 win in 11 innings at South Carolina to begin the season on Feb. 15, 2019.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Camels moved runners into scoring position at second and third with one out against Erickson. However, the sophomore right-hander proceeded to retire the next two batters to strand the runners and keep the Flames in front 2-1. It was the last time a Campbell batter moved past second base in the contest.
Beyond the Box Score
- Liberty baseball began its 49th season, today. The Flames have opened their season on the road 15 out of the past 16 years and have posted a 28-19 mark in season openers since 1976 (no records for 1974 and 1975).
- Liberty and Campbell were each selected to win their respective leagues. The Flames were picked to capture the conference title in the ASUN Preseason Poll, while the Camels were tabbed to finish on top of the standings in the Big South Preseason Poll.
- Former rivals in the Big South Conference, Liberty now leads Campbell in the all-time series between the two teams, 28-26. Today's meeting was the first between the two teams since 2018.
- Cam Locklear started at shortstop for the fifth consecutive season for Liberty. The senior has now played in 190 games, the most of any current Flame.
- Scott Jackson began his fifth season as the Flames head coach, this evening. The Flames have won three season openers during his tenure.
The Flames and Camels will meet again, tomorrow afternoon at Jim Perry Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.