Home Liberty completes sweep of VMI baseball with 17-0 whitewash

Liberty completes sweep of VMI baseball with 17-0 whitewash


vmi_logoThe Liberty Flames scored five unearned runs in the first inning, a margin the VMI Keydets could not overcome as Liberty won the series finale between the clubs, 17-0, in Big South baseball action contested Sunday in Lynchburg, Va. With the win, Liberty (25-8, 11-1 Big South) swept the series from the Keydets as VMI suffered its first three-game losing skid since a four-game slide March 11-15.

After VMI (16-13, 6-6 Big South) was retired in the first inning, Liberty leadoff hitter Nick Lacik hit a fly ball to left field that was misjudged by Eric Mayers and tipped off his glove for a two-base error. That play opened the floodgates to five unearned runs, with a Ryan Seiz double getting the scoring underway.

Dalton Britt and Danny Grauer added RBI singles with two out, and Ashton Perritt drove home two runs to give the home team a lead it would not relinquish. Liberty went on to add three runs in the second, one in the third and four apiece in the fourth and fifth to account for the final margin.

The other story was on the mound, where Liberty’s Parker Bean fell just two outs shy of a no-hitter. Brandon Angus broke up the attempt with a clean single through the right side with one out in the ninth. Bean (5-1) finished with 16 strikeouts against four walks in 8 1/3 innings, while Andrew Woods (5-1) allowed eight runs, three earned, in 1 1/3 frames and suffered his first loss of the season.

Three different players had RBI’s for Liberty in the second as the home team extended the lead to eight, and additional scoring followed in the third, fourth and fifth. Lacik had doubles in three straight innings at one point, helping the Flames build their 17-0 lead before three VMI relievers – Ryan Bennett, Micah Gorman and Miles McQuaig – combined to allow just one hit over the final three innings.

Bean, meanwhile, cruised into the eighth but with one out, the Keydets had a near miss when Gary LeClair hit a ground ball deep in the hole between first and second base. First baseman Alex Close made a diving stop and fed the pitcher covering to just nip LeClair at the base and prolong the no-hit attempt.

Bean then recorded an additional two outs before Angus’ ninth-inning single ended his day.

The 17-run margin of defeat was VMI’s largest since falling 18-0 to Virginia Tech on May 2, 2012, and the 21 hits allowed were VMI’s most given up since April 1, 2012 against VCU. Seven Liberty players finished with multiple hits, led by Close’s 4 for 5.

VMI baseball returns to action at home Tuesday, taking on the Tribe of William & Mary. Game time at Gray-Minor Stadium is set for 6 p.m.




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