Liberty defeats Vanderbilt, first to go to 12-0

liberty baseballLiberty improved to 12-0 Saturday night with a 61-56 win over Vanderbilt, the program’s second win over an SEC opponent in the calendar year.

The first win came last season against Mississippi State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and the second win came Saturday night on the road.

It was a game of runs in the first half as Vanderbilt created a lead early in the game with a 14-2 run at the beginning of the first half to take a 17-8 lead. The Flames responded with a 19-4 run themselves to take a 27-21 lead over the Commodores.

To end the half, Vanderbilt would go on an 11-0 run in the final 2:56 to take a 32-27 lead at the break.

As the second half went on, the Flames and Commodores went back-and-forth, but with 6:21 left in the game the Flames locked down on defense as Vanderbilt did not convert a field goal for 6:14. Vanderbilt went 2-of-9 from the field in the final six and a half minutes of the game to hold Vanderbilt to a season-low 56 points.

On offense, Myo Baxter-Bell (18 points), Elijah Cuffee (13 points) and Caleb Homesley (14 points) led the charge scoring 45 of Liberty’s 61 points.

“Being undefeated is great because you get a little bit of attention from it, but that wasn’t one of our goals before we started the season,” Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said. “We are in the process of getting better and in an environment like this, against some of the talent and the offensive talent that Vandy has, that is a really good win for our program.”

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