Liberty baseball wraps regular season with win over Winthrop

liberty basketballRight fielder Brandon Rohrer hit a home run and drove in a career-high three runs, helping to power the Liberty Flames past the Winthrop Eagles, 5-1, in the final game of the 2018 regular season, Saturday at Winthrop Ballpark.

Rohrer had two hits and belted his third home run of the season. He also scored a run in the Big South Conference contest.

Vinnie Tarantola did not allow a hit over the first four innings helping him even his record at 1-1 on the year. In his final regular season game in a Liberty uniform, the senior left-hander gave up two hits over six scoreless innings. He struck out career-high seven batters and walked two. He did not allow a runner past first base.

With back-to-back victories over the Eagles, Liberty takes the three-game series, 2-1. The Flames finish the regular season with a 17-10 mark in conference play, clinching third place in the Big South standings, and move to 29-24 overall. Winthrop drops to 15-12 in conference and 24-29 overall.

Liberty gave itself an early advantage with a run in the first. With two outs and center fielder D.J. Artis on third after leading off the game with a single, catcher Jonathan Embry lined a stand-up triple into the right-center gap for a 1-0 edge.

The Flames extended their lead with two runs in the fifth. Right fielder Brandon Rohrer opened the inning with a blast over the right field wall for a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Artis, who reached on a fielder’s choice grounder, stole second and third bases. Left fielder Tre Todd followed with a single to score Artis for a 3-0 lead.

Liberty upped its advantage in its next at bat. With two outs and runners on second and third, Rohrer ripped a single back through the middle of the diamond, plating both runners for a 5-0 advantage.

In the eighth, Winthrop third baseman Jake Sullivan hit his fifth home run of the year for the Eagles’ lone run of the game.

Flames right-hander Logan Barker gave up one run on three hits over the final three innings to earn his second save of the year.

Winthrop starting pitcher Daniel Willcutt falls to 3-7 on the year. He allowed one run on three hits over four innings. He struck out three and walked one.

Liberty collected 12 hits in the contest. Winthrop had five. Neither team committed an error.

With his single in the first, Artis reached base safely in every game of the 2018 regular season. The center fielder has reached base in 66 straight games, the longest active streak in the country. In addition, Artis set a new personal single-season record, stealing his 24th base of the season. The junior had stolen 23 bases in each of his previous two seasons.

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