FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2016
The Buccaneers led 2-0 after scoring a pair of runs in the top half of the third, but the Flames chipped away at the lead with a run in both the third and the fourth, eventually pulling away with five runs in the seventh.
Liberty starter Victor Cole (W, 3-2) survived a bases-loaded, no out situation in the first to scatter nine hits over seven innings, striking out five. The Bucs had a chance to grab a quick lead with three singles to lead off the game, but Cole wrapped a pair of strikeouts around an infield popup to end CSU's early threat.
LU's D.J. Artis was 3-for-4 with three RBI and scored a run. He singled home the go-ahead run in the fifth and had a two-run double in the seventh as the Flames broke through against starter Evan Raynor (L, 4-3).
Liberty's Nick Walker singled and scored Andrew Yacyk in the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. The Bucs had troubled handling a pair of high hops off the artificial turf and the Flames took advantage to tie the game against Raynor.
Raynor gave up three earned runs in five innings of work. He had five strikeouts, but three walks in his shortest outing of the year. The Bucs committed three errors, two behind Raynor including a dropped third strike which led to the Flames' first run off of CSU's ace.
Nate Blanchard and Kevin Hickey had two hits apiece for the Bucs. CSU had seven hits in its first three at-bats, but only a 2-0 lead to show for it.
Nick Walker added three hits for the Flames and two RBI. Dalton Britt was 2-for-3 and scored twice.
Game two of the series is set for 3 p.m. on Saturday at Liberty Baseball Stadium.