Home Liberty tops VMI baseball, 4-0

Liberty tops VMI baseball, 4-0


vmi_logoVMI pitcher Connor Bach allowed just an unearned run over six innings in his strongest outing this season, but the Liberty Flames pitched their fifth consecutive shutout in Big South play and prevailed over the Keydets, 4-0, in conference action Saturday afternoon in Lynchburg.

After the teams battled through the first 4 ½ innings scoreless, Liberty (24-8, 10-1 Big South) took the lead in the fifth. Danny Grauer led off with a pop fly into short right field that was dropped by a backpedaling Cameron Walter for a two-base error. Bach induced a fly out to center field by the next hitter, but Ashton Perritt followed with a single to score Grauer with the unearned run that proved to be the difference in the game. The Flames added three runs in the ninth against the VMI bullpen to account for the final margin.

At the plate, the Keydets (16-12, 6-5 Big South) were led by Will Connerley’s three hits, while Liberty did not have a multi-hit player on the afternoon.

The Keydets had the game’s first threat with a rally in the second inning. David Geary walked with one out and Connerley followed with a single. Matt Winn walked to load the bases, but Josh Worthley struck out and Tanner Dofflemyer grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Bach pitched around a single and walk in the second, and VMI rallied again in the fourth. Connerley had a two-out double and Winn was hit by a pitch, but Worthley struck out to end the threat and keep the game scoreless.

Another Keydet rally started in the fifth with a two-out double by Brandon Angus. Eric Mayers drew a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch, but Walter fouled out to right fielder Will Shepherd, who made a sliding catch on the play to end the inning.

After Liberty scored in the fifth, the Keydets could not capitalize on a one-out Connerley double in the sixth. The Flames then added on in the eighth on RBI singles by Grauer and Alex Close, as well as a RBI double by Nick Lacik that made it 4-0. Red Dowdell tripled with two outs in the ninth for the Keydets, but Jordan Tarsovich flied out to left field to end the game.

Bach (2-5) took the hard-luck loss after allowing just an unearned run in six innings, walking three and striking out eight, while Carson Herndon got the win for Liberty on scorer’s decision. Herndon moved to 5-1 by allowing three hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings before leaving the game due to an apparent forearm injury.

The game marked the first time since March 14-15 that VMI had lost consecutive games.

VMI and Liberty return to action Sunday, as the teams wrap up their three-game weekend series at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Game time is set for 2 p.m.



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.