Liberty routs JMU, 12-1
Five different players drove in two runs each and Liberty scored twice each in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take command en route to a 12-1 victory over James Madison on Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference baseball game at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.
LU improved to 33-12 overall and swept the three-game season series against the Dukes after having lost nine of the last 10 head-to-head games entering the season. JMU fell to 13-27-1.
Second baseman Bryan Aanderud went 3-for-4 with two RBIs while shortstop Zack Haley doubled twice and walked twice to pace the Liberty offense. They were joined by left fielder Ian Parmley, designated hitter Tyler Cox and first baseman Alex Close to make five players with two RBIs. Close hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season.
Liberty benefitted from free bases with four hit batters, seven walks and a pair of JMU errors. Each of the first five runs scored by the Flames came from batters who reached via a free pass.
Trey Lambert earned the win in the predetermined short start for Liberty to improve to 2-0. He was the first of seven pitchers for the Flames.
Junior right-hander Nick Slogik (Strongsville, Ohio/St. Edward) allowed six runs on four hits in 4 2/3 innings as the starter to fall to 0-5.
Freshman second baseman Tyler Duke (Troutville, Va./James River) was the lone JMU batter with multiple hits with a single and a double. The Dukes finished with seven hits in the game after combining for four total hits in the first two meetings in Lynchburg earlier this season.
Liberty loaded the bases in the first inning with no outs on a walk and a pair of hit batters. Cox then lined a double inside the third-base bag to score two runs. An error allowed the Flames to reload the bases still with no outs, but a popup and a double play ended the jam.
JMU manufactured a run in the second. Duke led off with a double to left center, a pair of groundouts brought in the run to make it 2-1.
The one-run margin held until the fourth. Liberty again took advantage of free bases. After a walk and a hit batter, Haley delivered a two-out double to left to plate both for a 4-1 lead.
Liberty made it 6-1 with a two-run home run to left by Alex Close in the fifth. A double by Haley in the sixth was followed by an RBI single by Parmley to make it 7-1. An RBI double by Aanderud made it 8-1. A bases-loaded wild pitch in the seventh brought in the ninth LU run.
The Flames added three final runs in the ninth inning. Parmley’s fielder’s choice groundout with the bases loaded drove in one. Ryan Cordell’s RBI double made it 11-1 and Aanderud’s RBI single capped the afternoon.
JMU continues its midweek action on Wednesday with a 6 p.m. game at VMI.