Left fielder Andrew Yacyk hit a three-run home run, leading the Liberty Flames to a 5-2 win over the Evansville Purple Aces, Sunday in the final game of the Liberty Invitational at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Yacyk hit his team-leading third home run of the season in the first inning, helping Liberty to build a 4-0 lead after one. The outfielder also had a single in the contest.
Liberty moves to 11-6 on the year and completes its own Liberty Invitational with a 4-0 record. Earlier in the day, the Flames defeated the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils, 7-5. The Flames also defeated the Purple Aces, 5-3, during the tournament, Saturday. Evansville drops to 8-7 on the year.
Liberty staked itself to a 4-0 advantage in the first inning. Center fielder D.J. Artis and right fielder Will Shepherd walked to open the home half of the frame. Second baseman Andrew Kowalo then plated the first run of the contest with a RBI single. Yacyk followed with his three-run blast to give the Flames a four-run edge.
After being held in check by Liberty starting pitcher Parker Bean through the first four innings, Evansville got on the scoreboard in the fifth. Center fielder Nate Reeder led off the inning with a triple to left field on a liner which hoped over Flames left fielder Yacyk’s head when he tried to make a diving catch. Left fielder Josh Jyawook followed with a run-scoring grounder, cutting the Liberty lead to 4-1.
The Flames extended its advantage back to four with a run in the sixth. Kowalo reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a two-out double by shortstop Dalton Britt, upping the Liberty
lead to 5-1.
After the Purple Aces pushed across a run in the seventh to trim the Flames’ advantage to 5-2, Liberty reliever Shane Quarterley did not allow a run over the final two innings to close out the win. Evansville did bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth with one out, but Quarterley got Purple Aces shortstop Stewart Nelson to ground into a double play to end the contest and earn his third save of the year.
Bean moves to 1-0 on the season. He allowed one run on two hits, striking out seven and walking six.
Evansville starting pitcher Austin Allinger falls to 2-1. The right-hander, the first of three Purple Aces to pitch in the contest, gave up five runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Liberty collected eight hits in the contest, while Evansville had seven. Shepherd joined Yacyk with two hits in the game.
Liberty will next travel to Blacksburg, Va., for a contest against the Virginia Tech Hokies, Tuesday. First pitch at English Field is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Opener: Liberty tops CCSU
The Liberty Flames broke a 1-1 tie with six runs in the eighth inning, downing the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils, 7-5, in game five of the Liberty Invitational at the Liberty Baseball Stadium. The contest was the first of two for the Flames, Sunday.
Limited to one run through the first seven innings by Blue Devils starter Brett Susi, the Flames batted around in the eighth, plating six runs on four hits to build a 7-1 edge.
Liberty right fielder Will Shepherd collected two hits and drove in a career-high three runs for the second time, this season and the third time during his career.
Catcher Payton Scarbrough had two hits and scored twice in the contest for the Flames.
Liberty, winners of three straight, move to 10-6 on the year. CCSU falls to 5-6 on the season. It was the second win by the Flames over the Blue Devils during the Liberty Invitational, as Liberty defeated the Blue Devils, 5-1, Friday.
The Flames pushed across the game’s first run in the third inning. Scarbrough singled and center fielder D.J. Artis walked to open the home half of the frame. After both runners moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by designated hitter Nick Walker, Shepherd singled to score Scarbrough for a 1-0 edge.
CCSU tied the contest in the fifth. With one out, third baseman Franklin Jennings walked and moved to third on a double by second baseman Dean Lockery. Designated hitter Dylan Maher followed with a ground out to plate Jennings to knot the contest at 1-1.
In the bottom of the eighth, Liberty broke the deadlock. Third baseman Eric Grabowski was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a single by Scarbrough. After Artis walked to load the bases, Walker singled to plate Grabowski for a 2-1 edge. Shepherd followed with a two-run single, extending the Liberty advantage to 4-1.
Shortstop Dalton Britt then lined a triple into right-center field gap, scoring two more runs for 6-1 lead. Two batters later, first baseman Sammy Taormina lifted a run-scoring sacrifice fly, giving the Flames a 7-1 advantage.
The Blue Devils rallied in the ninth, bring the tying run to the plate to hit in the inning. CCSU plated four runs on a wild pitch, a two-run single by Lockery and a single by first baseman Ryan Costello. Liberty reliever Carson Herndon then got center fielder Tyler Coleman to line out to Grabowski at third base to seal the 7-5 victory for the Flames.
Right-hander Thomas Simpson records his first win in a Liberty uniform, moving to 1-0 on the year. The second of four Liberty pitchers in the contest, he gave up two on two hits over 3 1/3 inings. He struck out two and walked two batters.
Herndon pitched to the final two batters of the contest, picking up his second save of the season.
Susi, who allowed one run on five hits through the first seven innings, falls to 2-1 on the year. The right-hander gave up six runs on nine hits over seven-plus innings. He struck out one and walked two batters.
Liberty outhit CCSU, 10-9, in the contest.