Liberty trips up Winthrop, 11-2
First baseman Dylan Allen had three hits, including a home run, and shortstop Cam Locklear also belted a home run, as the Liberty Flames sailed past the Winthrop Eagles, 11-2 , Friday evening at the Winthrop Ballpark.
Allen drove in four runs with his three hits. The Liberty first baseman also hit his third home run of the season and scored three times in the Big South Conference contest.
Locklear collected two hits and ripped his fourth home run of the season in the win. He also scored three times in the game.
Liberty moves to 16-10 in conference play and 28-24 overall. With the victory, the Flames move one game ahead of Winthrop in the Big South standings with one game to left to play in the regular season. The Flames also snap an eight-game losing skid against Winthrop. The Eagles fall to 15-11 in conference and 24-28 overall.
The Flames raced out to a 9-0 advantage through the first 3 ½ innings of play.
Liberty sent all nine men to the plate in the second, scoring four runs on four hits. Left fielder Jonathan Embry led off the top of the inning by lining a triple into the right-center field gap. Shortstop Cam Locklear then sent a grounder to third, which Eagles’ third baseman Jake Sullivan threw wide of first, allowing Embry to come home with the first run of the contest. After Locklear moved to third on a passed ball, first baseman Dylan Allen singled to plate the runner for a 2-0 edge.
Two batters later, right fielder Brandon Rohrer and second baseman Ben Highfill reached on back-to-back singles, loading the bases. Allen then scored on the second passed ball of the inning for a 3-0 lead. After center fielder D.J. Artis walked to again load the bases, catcher Tre Todd lifted a sacrifice fly to make it, 4-0 Flames.
Liberty extended its lead in the third. Embry walked to open the inning and Locklear followed with his home run over the left field wall for a 6-0 lead.
The Flames increased their advantage on Allen’s home run in the top of the fourth. Galazin began the inning with a single. Embry followed with an infield single, and both runners moved into scoring position on a throwing error by Winthrop pitcher Colton Rendon. Allen then blasted a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall for a 9-0 lead.
After being held without a hit through the first three innings by Liberty pitcher Noah Skirrow, the Eagles broke through for their first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, first baseman Tyler Halstead walked. Left fielder Cale Gibson followed with a double, scoring Halstead to make it, 9-1 Flames.
Liberty tacked on more runs in the seventh. With two outs and the bases loaded, Highfill walked to force in a run and Artis was hit by a pitch to bring home another for an 11-1 advantage.
Winthrop pushed across the final run of the contest in the eighth.
Skirrow pitched the first four innings. He gave up one run on one hit, striking out seven and walking one. The right-hander struck out seven straight Eagles between the first and third innings.
Zack Brockman took over in the fifth and pitched three scoreless innings, running his record to 2-1 on the season. The second of three Flames to pitch in the contest, he gave up four hits and struck out one.
Winthrop starting pitcher Zach Peek drops to 5-5 on the season. He gave up four runs on four hits over the first two innings. The right-hander struck out three and walked one.
Liberty collected 13 hits. Five Flames had two or more hits in the contest. Embry also scored three runs for Liberty. Winthrop had seven hits and committed three errors.