Liberty saw its series against Kennesaw State this past weekend canceled due to COVID concerns with the Owls. The Flames replaced those games with a two-game home and home series with in-state foe VCU. With a 1-2 mark this week, the Flames 17-8 overall with a 5-1 mark in ASUN play.
TUESDAY: DUKE 5, LIBERTY 4
For the first time this season, Liberty lost a midweek game and lost to an ACC opponent, as the Flames fell to Duke, 5-4, at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina. The Blue Devils jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after just two innings thanks to two home runs. Liberty wouldn’t go down without a fight as the Flames moved the tying run to second base in the ninth inning before running out of time to complete the comeback.
Aaron Anderson finished the game with three hits and hit his second home run of the season, which brought the Flames within one run at 4-3 in the 7th inning. Brandon Rohrer’s home run in the 8th brought it back to one run at 5-4 after Duke added an insurance run in the home half of the 7th.
In the 9th inning, Gray Betts singled with one out. He then moved to second on a two-out single by Anderson. However, Duke closer Jimmy Loper was able to get Will Wagner to ground out to second to close the contest. The Flames finished the month of March with a 14-2 record.
FRIDAY: LIBERTY 9, VCU 3
Trailing 3-2, the Flames scored 7 runs in the 6th inning to knock off the VCU Rams on Friday afternoon at Liberty Baseball Stadium. Liberty had 5 hits in the inning, including three doubles and a triple. Cam Locklear and Jake Wilson had back to back two-run doubles and Jaylen Guy connected for a third straight hit with an RBI triple.
David Erickson got the win in relief, as he pitched two innings of scoreless relief. He combined with Fraser Ellard and Christian Gordon to throw 4 innings of no-hit and scoreless relief.
SATURDAY: VCU 4, LIBERTY 2
Liberty entered Saturday’s game having won 7 straight against VCU. That streak would come to an end at The Diamond in Richmond when the Rams defeated the Flames. VCU scored two runs in the third inning against Flames’ starter Trey Gibson, and then added two more in the 4th inning.
The Flames were unable to string together timely hits as they stranded 7 runners on the afternoon. Gibson allowed four runs on six hits over six innings. Mason Meyer pitched four scoreless innings of relief while scattering three hits, strikout four, and walking one.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: GRAY BETTS
Betts was 5 for 13 at the plate in the three games this week, as he had a double, triple, and a home run to go along with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Betts is second on the team this season with a .330 batting average. He’s played in all 25 games, making 24 starts. The Flames’ leadoff hitter has a team best 22 runs scored and 17 walks.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK: DAVID ERICKSON
Erickson pitched two innings without surrendering a hit or a run while striking out two in Liberty’s only win this week, on Friday against VCU. Erickson picked up the win, his team-leading 6th of the season. Erickson has a 2.39 ERA this season to go along with a 6-1 record in 12 relief appearances. He’s pitched 26.1 innings, only trailing weekend starters Trevor DeLaite, Mason Meyer, and Trey Gibson in innings pitched this year.
Liberty is back in action on Wednesday, beginning a home stand against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are 9-11 overall and 4-9 in ACC play entering their game Sunday afternoon at Louisville.
The Flames then host Lipscomb for a three-game series in Lynchburg, beginning Friday at 6 pm.
Liberty……………………..5-1 ASUN…17-8 overall
Stetson……………………5-1 ASUN…19-9 overall
Kennesaw State………4-2 ASUN…15-8 overall
FGCU………………………4-2 ASUN…16-10 overall
North Florida……………3-3 ASUN…9-14 overall
Lipscomb………………..4-5 ASUN…10-12 overall
Bellarmine……………….5-7 ASUN…9-16 overall
North Alabama……….3-6 ASUN…4-20 overall
Jacksonville……………0-6 ASUN…6-18 overall