Flames too hot in 3-0 series over Radford

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Carrie Birkett | cbirkett@radford.edu

Radford baseball played Liberty in a four-game series matchup this past week. The Liberty Flames have a 16-11 record and sits atop of the Big South baseball standings.

The first game of the series was played in Lynchburg on Tuesday night. The Flames got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning, with two runs off of a triple down the left field line by Jack Morris. Morris scored on the next hit, as a single flew past shortstop Torey McDyre.

Liberty again scored in the third inning for a 3-0 lead. A bases-loaded walk by Morris sent Sammy Taormina in for the score. The Highlanders wouldn’t get on the board until the 6th inning, when Luke Wise singled to right field advancing Adam Whitacre to third and sending home Colby Schneider. Kyle Butler then flew out to center field sending home Whitacre, giving Liberty just a one-run lead at 3-2.

In the seventh inning, highlander David Laird singled to left field and sent home Jonathan Gonzalez. Again in the eighth, Gonzalez doubled to left field sending home Wise, giving Radford the 4-3 lead. Liberty would not go down easy, scoring in the bottom of the ninth off a wild pitch, and the Flames sent the game into extras.

The extra innings were quiet, until the 11th inning. David Laird doubled to center field, sending Spencer Horwitz home for the game-winning run.

The Friday night game was moved to Saturday for an afternoon doubleheader because of the weather.

The first game of the doubleheader again started off with Liberty on the board first. The Flames burned hot after that, scoring one run in the third, four runs in the fourth and then one run in the fifth inning to give them an 8-0 lead in the top of the seventh.  Radford was able to respond in the bottom of the inning. Danny Hrbek singled to right field advancing Butler to second, Schneider to third and sending home Clayton Baine. Then Straton Podaras singled to right field advancing Hrbek and sending home Butler and Schneider to cut the lead down 8-3.

Liberty added one more run to their lead in the eighth inning, making the score 9-3. Radford had one more chance to add runs, but could only add one more run in the bottom of the eighth. Tying the series at 1-1.

Game 2 of the doubleheader got underway with Radford hoping to hold off the Flames, but yet again Radford could not get runs across the plate. Horwitz had a solo home run in the fourth inning for the first run of the game. The flames scored four runs in the fifth inning and then two more in the seventh to give them a 6-1 lead. Liberty would take it home from there. Radford could not get any offensive hits across the plate to chase down the flame lead.

Sunday was the final game of the series, proving Liberty’s dominance over Radford once more. The leader of the Big South did not disappoint midway through the season.

The Flames started off with one run in the third inning off a Taormina single. Then managed to score seven runs in the fourth inning, starting off with a solo home run followed by a single, and then another home run with four runs getting added on. Radford plated two in the bottom of the inning off of a Gonzalez double, sending in Hrbek.  Schneider then hit a single, sending Gonzalez home. Liberty added 5 more runs before the game was over to seal the game 13-3.

With the win on Sunday, Liberty took the series 3-1 over Radford.