Liberty splits doubleheader with UNC Asheville

liberty baseballTre Todd hit two home runs, helping the Liberty Flames power past the UNC Asheville Bulldogs, 8-1, in Game 1 of a Big South doubleheader, Friday at Liberty Baseball Stadium.

With his two home runs, Todd becomes the first Flame to hit multiple round trippers in a game this season. The left fielder, who leads Liberty in home runs and RBI, belted his fourth of the season in the fifth inning and his fifth of the year in the eighth.

With the win, Liberty moves to 3-1 in conference play and 12-8 overall. UNC Asheville drops to 2-2 in conference and 5-15 overall.

The Flames led from start to finish in game one. Liberty plated two runs in the second without a hit. The first three batters in the bottom of the inning reached, as Bulldogs starter Greg Gasparro walked two batters and hit another. Catcher Matt Allen then plated designated hitter Andrew Yacyk, who led off the inning with a walk, with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 edge. Three batters later and with the bases again loaded, Trey McDyre was hit by a pitch to force in another run for a 2-0 lead.

Liberty extended its lead with three runs in the fifth. Todd opened the home half of the inning with his first home run of the afternoon for a 3-0 advantage. Later in the frame, right fielder Jonathan Embry walked and stole second with two out. Third baseman Tyler Galazin followed with a single, cashing in Embry to make it 4-0 Flames. Galazin then advanced to second on an infield single by Allen and scored on a RBI single by shortstop Cam Locklear for a 5-0 advantage.

Held scoreless through the first five innings, UNC Asheville broke through for its only run of the contest in the sixth. Shortstop Carmine Pagano led off the inning with a single and moved to second with one out on a single by third baseman Brandon Langford. After a Liberty pitching change, designated hitter Tyler Serricchio walked to load the bases. First baseman Danny Wilson followed with a sacrifice fly, trimming Liberty’s edge to four at 5-1.

Liberty added to its advantage in the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Embry, who scored three times in the contest, walked with one out and came around to plate a run on Locklear’s second RBI single of the game. In the eighth, the Flames scored runs on Todd’s second home run of the game and a RBI double by Yacyk for the final ledger of 8-1.

Liberty starting pitcher Jackson Bertsch evens his record at 2-2. The right-hander allowed one run on five hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six batters and walked one.

Asheville’s Gasparro drops to 1-3. The left-hander lasted three innings, giving up two runs on no hits. He struck out four and walked four. He also hit three batters.

The Flames collected seven hits in the game and committed one error. The Bulldogs had six hits and made one error.

Game 2

A three-run pinch hit home run by Jake Madole in the eighth inning proved to be the difference, pushing the UNC Asheville Bulldogs past the Liberty Flames, 7-4, in game two of a Big South doubleheader, Friday evening at Liberty Baseball Stadium.

The victory enabled the Bulldogs to split the twin bill. Liberty won the first game, 8-1.

The Flames had battled back from an early 4-0 deficit to tie the game in the fifth inning.

Liberty falls to 3-2 in Big South play and 12-9 overall. UNC Asheville moves to 3-2 in conference and 6-15 overall.

The visiting Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second. With one out, catcher Andrew Friedholm and designated hitter Tyler Serricchio each singled and came around to score on a double by left fielder Joe Zayataz for a 2-0 edge. Two batters later, right fielder Chris Troost followed with a single to plate Zayataz for an early three-run advantage.

In the fourth, each team pushed across a run. The Bulldogs scored an unearned run on a double by first baseman Danny Wilson in the top of the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Liberty catcher Jonathan Embry opened the frame with a bunt single and stole second. Two batters later, third baseman Tyler Galazin, who had two hits in the contest, singled to score Embry.

Liberty tied the contest in the fifth. Center fielder D.J. Artis and left fielder Tre Todd both walked and first baseman Dylan Allen reached on an infield single to load the bases. After the Bulldogs were able to get the first out of the inning with a force out at home plate, a wild pitch allowed Todd to score, cutting the Asheville advantage to two at 4-2. Two batters later, Locklear, who had two RBI in game one of the doubleheader, lined a two-run single into left, knotting the score at 4-4.

In the eighth, Serricchio and Zayatz both walked with one out, before Madole hit his second home run over the left field wall, giving the Bulldogs what proved to be the final score of 7-4.

UNC Asheville reliever Eric Whitecavage pitched a scoreless eighth and reliever Kole Harris retired the side in order in the ninth to close out the victory.

Despite a strong relief outing, Liberty’s Andrew Stout drops to 0-1 on the year. The right-hander allowed three runs, two earned, over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked five.

Whitecavage evens his mark at 1-1 on the year. The sidearmer pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings, walking one. Harris recorded his third save for the Bulldogs.

Each side had six hits. Liberty committed the lone error of the contest.



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