Liberty dropped to 1-1 in ASUN Tournament Pool Play on Wednesday, falling to the Jacksonville Dolphins, 8-0. The Flames will have the day off Thursday before concluding Pool Play on Friday.

After being shutout in Tuesday’s first game of pool play and being held to just four hits, Jacksonville was able to notch a run in the scoring column in the top of the first. The Dolphins did so without registering a hit in the inning, as the leadoff batter, Chase Malloy, walked, advanced to second on fielder’s choice, reached third on a wild pitch, and then scored on Kris Armstrong’s sacrifice fly to give JU the 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first, looking to keep their hot bats alive from Tuesday’s win over #1 Lipscomb, Liberty’s Gray Betts laced a two-out triple into right center field. The Flames were unable to bring him home, as the score remained 1-0. That began a trend in the early innings of the game as Liberty left a runner stranded on third in three of the first five innings.

In the bottom of the third, Nathan Keeter reached safely to lead off the inning with his bunt single. The third baseman’s throw to first to try to get Keeter out was off target and the Liberty runner advanced to second on the throwing error. John Simmons then bunted him to third, but Kane Kepley and Brayden Horton were unable to bring him in, both striking out.

Liberty starting pitcher Trey Cooper held Jacksonville hitless through the first three innings. In the fourth, he surrendered two walks before Tommy Joseph’s double scored two runs to push the Dolphins’ lead to 3-0.

Cooper finished the day after pitching 4.2 innings and allowing only the one hit. He did walk six and allowed the three runs. Carter entered the game in the fifth inning in relief.

Attempting to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth, Keeter walked and Kepley’s single moved him to third with two outs. Once again, the Flames were unable to bring the runner around to score as Horton struck out.

Following the conclusion of the fifth inning, there was a two hour, six minute weather delay in DeLand, Florida.

When the game resumed, both teams were held in check through the sixth and seventh innings. Liberty threatened in the sixth with a one-out double by Cam Foster. Camden Troyer then walked with two outs before Todd Hudson grounded out to end the threat. The Dolphins added some insurance runs in the eighth off Carter to extend their lead to 7-0 and tacked on another in the ninth.

Evan Chrest, the ASUN Freshman of the Year, was superb on the mound for Jacksonville. He pitched five scoreless while scattering four hits, striking out seven, and walking one. His day was done following the weather delay. Leighton Alley pitched four scoreless in relief of Chrest as he entered the game following the delay.

The Flames are off Thursday before concluding Pool Play on Friday against #2 FGCU at approximately 2:30 p.m. Liberty could clinch a spot in Saturday’s semifinals prior to playing on Friday but could also need a win over the Eagles to secure a spot depending on how the rest of Pool Play action develops.


Pool A
1. FGCU 1-0
2. Jacksonville 1-1
2. Liberty 1-1
4. Lipscomb 0-1

The top 3 finishers in Pool A will advance to semifinals.

Pool B
1. Jacksonville State 1-0
2. Stetson 1-1
2. Eastern Kentucky 1-1
4. Austin Peay 0-1

Pool B winner will advance to semifinals.


Tuesday, May 23
Pool A #3 Liberty 12, #1 Lipscomb 11
Pool A #2 FGCU 7, #4 Jacksonville 0
Pool B #5 Stetson 8, #6 Eastern Kentucky 3
OFF: #7 Jacksonville State, #8 Austin Peay

Wednesday, May 24
Pool A #4 Jacksonville (1-1) 8, #3 Liberty (1-1) 0
Pool B #7 Jacksonville State (1-0) 6, #5 Stetson (1-1) 1
Pool B #6 Eastern Kentucky (1-1) 3, #8 Austin Peay (0-1) 2
OFF: #1 Lipscomb (0-1), #2 FGCU (1-0)

Thursday, May 25
Pool A #1 Lipscomb (0-1) vs #2 FGCU (1-0), 10 a.m.
Pool B #5 Stetson (1-0) vs #8 Austin Peay (0-1), 2:30 p.m.
Pool B #6 Eastern Kentucky (1-1) vs #7 Jacksonville State (1-0), 7 p.m.
OFF: #3 Liberty (1-1), #4 Jacksonville (1-1)

Friday, May 26
Pool A #1 Lipscomb (0-1) vs #4 Jacksonville (1-1), 10 a.m.
Pool A #2 FGCU (1-0) vs #3 Liberty (1-1), 2:30 p.m.
Pool B #7 Jacksonville State (1-0) vs #8 Austin Peay (0-1), 7 p.m.
OFF: #5 Stetson (1-0), #6 Eastern Kentucky (0-1)

Saturday, May 27
#1 Qualifier Pool A vs #1 Qualifier Pool B, 11 a.m.
#2 Qualifier Pool A vs #3 Qualifier Pool A, 3 p.m.

Sunday, May 28
Championship Final, 1 p.m.