Home Liberty baseball upset in Big South: NCAA bid still in sight?

Liberty baseball upset in Big South: NCAA bid still in sight?

liberty-flames2No. 2 Winthrop scored four runs in the eighth to pick up the 6-5 win over No. 1 seed Liberty  in game 12 of the 2014 Big South Baseball Tournament Saturday afternoon at The Winthrop Ballpark.

With the loss, the Flames record falls to 41-16, and forces a wait until Selection Monday to see if Liberty will qualify for the 2014 NCAA Tournament.

“We won the regular-season championship and we are hoping our season can continue,” coach Jim Toman said of his team, which is currently ranked 17th in the national polls and was 28th in the RPI coming into play on Saturday.

So it would seem that a bid is probably very much in the offing for the Flames, but it’s going to be a wait-and-see game.

On Saturday, Winthrop, the visitors on the scoreboard, took the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.  Tyler Asbill led the inning off with a single.  Leighton Danielsadvanced Asbill with a sacrifice bunt.  Two batters later, Cody Dolan brought Asbill around with a single up the middle.

Winthrop added a run in the top of the fourth to push its lead to 2-0.  Babe Thomas led the inning off with a walk and moved up to second on a John Menken groundout.  Clay Altman and Brad Kaczka each drew walks to load the bases.  Kyle Edwards followed with a groundout to plate Thomas.

Liberty’s Will Shepard cut the lead in half at 2-1 with a monster shot to left center field.  He took the first pitch and sent a 400 foot drive that was half way up the trees that line the outfield wall.

Liberty took the 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth as it plated two runs. Dalton Britt led the inning off with a single.  The next batter, Andrew Yacykfollowed with a 330 foot homerun that cleared the wall in left field.

The Flames tacked a couple runs on the board in the bottom of the second to push their lead to 5-2.  Yacyk led the inning off with a single Dylan Allensacrificed Yacyk to second with a bunt.  Two batters later, Ashton Perritt scored Yacyk with a double to left field.  Two batters later, Ryan Seiz brought Perritt in with a single to right field.

Winthrop moved four runners across to take the 6-5 lead in the top of the eighth.  TJ Olesczuk got the inning started with a single and moved up to third on a double down the left field line by Cody Dolan.  Olesczuk came home on a sacrifice fly by Thomas.  A single by Menken put runners at the corners.  Clay Altman ripped a double to deep left center to score Dolan.  Kaczka reached on a fielder’s choice and move Altman to third as the Flames gunned down Menken at the plate.  Kyle Edwards reached on an error to score Altman on a grounder to short.  Michael Patrick was then hit by a pitch to load the bases and then Daniels was hit by a pitch to score Kaczka.

Travis Shelley picked up the win on the mound for Winthrop to improve to 4-1.  Jason Driver picked up his fourth save of the year for the Eagles.  Perritt was saddled with the loss to fall to 1-2.

Dolan paced the Eagle offense with a pair of hits, while Yacyk, Perritt and Shepherd each posted a pair of hits.



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