Flames Complete Sweep of CSU Baseball May 4, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
|Freshman Steve Antolik went 2-for-4 with an RBI in game one of Saturday's doubleheader.|
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Outscoring the CSU baseball team 21-4 on Saturday, Liberty recorded a pair of wins to finish a three-game sweep of the Buccaneers. Senior Ryan Page of the Flames pitched a complete game in the nightcap of the doubleheader, shutting down the Bucs in an 8-2 victory. Although CSU tallied 11 hits in game one, led by a 2-for-4 effort with one run batted in by freshman Steve Antolik, Liberty used eight unearned runs to claim the 13-2 win.
Box Score (Game One)
Box Score (Game Two)
Earning the win for the Flames in the first game, junior Dustin Umberger (6-3) allowed eight hits and struck out seven over six and a third innings. Making his first start since March 29, Buccaneer senior Cody Higgins went four innings and took the loss to fall to 2-2 on the season.
Liberty (25-23, 12-6 Big South) scored five runs over the first four innings while holding the CSU (15-28, 4-11) offense at bay to take an early lead. Junior Kenneth Negron led off the game with a single to left center and moved to second when senior P.K. Keller squeezed a shot through the left side. When senior David Giammaresi doubled down the left field line, Negron came around to score, giving the Flames a 1-0 lead. With Keller on third after the double, junior Cody Brown put a deep fly ball into right field that gave Keller time to tag up and come home.
Giammaresi put Liberty in front by three when his sacrifice fly to right field brought Negron in to score in the top of the third inning. One inning later, senior Garrett Young made it 4-0 with a solo home run over the wall in left field. Senior Aaron Grijalva then doubled to left field and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by junior Tim Rotola. Pushing the margin to five runs, senior Aaron Phillips singled down the left field line, allowing Grijalva time to trot home.
Antolik picked up his RBI in the bottom of the sixth, getting the Bucs on the board. Redshirt-freshman Mike Beattie led off the inning with a single deep into the hole between short and third. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Brantley Meier before junior Kory Morian drew a walk to give the home team two baserunners. Anolik then made it a 5-1 game with a single through the left side that allowed Beattie to slide in safely at home. CSU added another run in the bottom of the seventh, getting back-to-back doubles from the freshmen Taylor Black and Tyler Thornburg to pull within three.
With the home team still within striking distance, the Flames capitalized on two Buccaneer errors in the top of the ninth to score eight unearned runs. That put the game out of reach and assured Liberty its fourth Big South series victory of the season.
The visitors completed the sweep in the second game, getting an impressive performance from Page. Pitching all nine innings, he gave up two runs, both unearned, on six hits and two walks. At one point, the lefty struck out seven consecutive batters, eventually finishing the game with nine strike outs. Freshman Jesse Cadenhead picked up his first loss of the season in his third start for CSU, giving up three runs, one earned, on five hits and two walks in five innings.
The Bucs took the lead for the first time in the series when they scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Mark Perry started with a single through the left side and then Morian reached when the Flames mishandled his sacrifice bunt attempt. After a lineout caught Perry off second and resulted in a double play, freshman Derek Smith put the home team in front with a two-run homer to left center.
In the next half inning, Liberty cut the deficit in half when Phillips’ groundout brought Young home, who had led off the inning with a single. The Flames took the lead in the top of the third inning, taking advantage of a Bucs’ error once again. Giammaresi reached on a one-out single and moved to third when Brown’s fly ball to left field was mishandled, giving the visitors two runners in scoring position. Young then delivered a fly ball deep enough into right field to allow Giammaresi to score, tying the game. Liberty took the lead when a wild pitch allowed Brown, who had advanced to third on the sacrifice, to score.
The score remained 2-1 in favor of the visitors until the top of the seventh when the Flames broke open the game open with four runs. Keller started the rally with a one-out single up the middle and moved to second when Giammaresi drew a walk. Getting a great jump, Keller stole third and Giammaresi followed suit by taking second to give the visitors two runners in scoring position. A ground ball to the shortstop then gave Keller time to score and make it 4-2.
With two outs and a runner on first after the fielder’s choice, sophomore Jason Love was hit by a pitch to put another Liberty player on the base paths. That’s when Grijilva stepped in and delivered a three-run homer to right center, his second dinger of the day after hitting a grand slam in the first game. It was also his second home run of the season, giving the Flames a 7-2 lead. The visitors added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when a groundout brought Keller home from third.
With its last Big South home series in the books, CSU will play a pair of midweek games against Furman (Tuesday at 6 p.m.) and the College of Charleston (Wednesday at 7 p.m.) before hitting the road to take on UNC Asheville next weekend.