Presbyterian downs Liberty with seven-run sixth
Trailing 5-3 in the sixth, the Blue Hose tallied seven runs behind a grand slam by pinch hitter Thatcher Coleman.
Liberty shortstop Cam Locklear had two hits and belted his second home run of the season, a two-run shot which gave the Flames the lead in the fourth.
Presbyterian, which has won three out of its last four Big South games, raises its conference record to 3-4 and 8-19 overall. Liberty falls to 14-10 overall and 4-3 in conference action.
Presbyterian took a 1-0 edge in the bottom of the first. With two outs, second baseman Jonathan White hit his third home run of the season over the left field wall for an early advantage.
The host Blue Hose extended their lead in the second. A two-out double by center fielder Nick Guimbarda plated two runs, upping Presbyterian’s advantage to 3-0.
Liberty cut into its deficit in the third. Left fielder Tre Todd, who entered the day the national leader in walks, drew a base on balls with two outs. After first baseman Dylan Allen continued the inning with a single, designated hitter Logan Mathieu singled back through the middle of the infield, plating both runners and trimming the Blue Hose edge to 3-2.
The Flames went in front on the scoreboard in the fourth. With one out and right fielder Jonathan Embry aboard after a walk, Locklear belted a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence, giving Liberty a 4-3 edge. Two batters later, center fielder D.J. Artis walked and stole second with two outs. Second baseman Trey McDyre followed with a grounder to shortstop. However, Presbyterian’s Andrew Bladt’s throw was wild, allowing Artis to score, upping the Flames’ newfound lead to 5-3.
In the bottom of the fourth, Blue Hose right fielder Nick Wise reached on a dropped third strike and came around to score on a double by the next batter, catcher T.J. Richardson, slicing the Liberty advantage to 5-4. After the ball got away from Flames second baseman Trey McDyre on a pick-off attempt allowed Richardson to move to third with one out, Liberty pitcher Jackson Bertsch struck out the next batter and an induced a ground out to end the threat and hold the lead.
Presbyterian struck for seven runs in the sixth inning. The first three batters of the inning reached on two singles and a walk. After a pitching change, pinch hitter Thatcher Coleman connected for a grand slam, his second home run of the year, off of Liberty’s Garret Price for an 8-5 Blue Hose lead. Third baseman Tannor Bryd followed with a single, before Guimbarda lined a single which struck Price, forcing him to come out of the game.
Presbyterian tacked on three more runs in the inning. The Blue Hose scored on a fielding error, a fielder’s choice ground out and a bases loaded walk for an 11-5 lead.
Liberty pushed a run across in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Mathieu, who had two hits in the contest already, doubled to the warning track in right field. Two batters later, Embry lined a double down the left field line to bring home Mathieu. After a walk to Locklear, Embry was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a single by Ayden Karraker, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in sixth.
After Presbyterian added two runs in the bottom of the inning for a 13-6 lead, Liberty loaded the bases with two outs and got a run in when third baseman Tyler Galazin was hit by a pitch for the final score of 13-7.
Liberty’s Price falls to 3-2 on the season. He allowed three runs on three hits without recording an out in relief of Bertsch.
Presbyterian’s Eric Miles moves to 4-3. Miles gave up two runs on two hits over two innings. He struck out two and walked three in relief of Blue Hose starting pitcher Tanner Chock.
Liberty collected 11 hits, but made a season-high five errors in the contest. The Flames also left 13 men on base. Presbyterian had 11 hits and committed two errors. The Blue Hose left seven men.