LYNCHBURG, Va. – Liberty (12-4) used a seven-run, fifth inning to earn a 14-5 victory over Virginia (8-8) at Liberty Baseball Stadium on Wednesday (March 13). The loss snapped a nine-game win streak against the Flames.
Virginia scored three runs on three hits in the bottom of the second inning to jump out to the early, 3-0 advantage. The Cavaliers received run-scoring hits in the frame from Cameron Simmons (Royersford, Pa.), Alex Tappen (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) and Nate Eikhoff (Bristow, Va.).
Starting pitcher Zach Messinger (Chandler, Ind.) cruised through the first three innings and sat down 10 of the game’s first 11 batters. The righthander escaped a two-out, bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fourth thanks to diving stop and throw by second baseman Nic Kent (Charlottesville, Va.).
WOAH! 👀 Nic Kent with a run-saving play to end the bottom of the 4th! #SCtop10
UVA leads Liberty, 3-0 after 4
Gelof, Kent, Morris due up pic.twitter.com/P1V3DLHHs0
— Virginia Baseball (@UVABaseball) March 13, 2019
The Cavaliers weren’t as fortunate in the fifth as Liberty sent 11 batters to the plate and racked up seven hits, six of which went for extra bases. The big hit in the inning came off the bat of Cam Locklear, a two-run home run, his first of the season. The long ball capped the rally and made the score 7-3.
Liberty tacked on seven more runs over its final three at bats, including five in the bottom of the eighth.
Kent also delivered at the plate, recording his fourth multi-hit game performance in his last seven games. He finished the day 2-for-5 with an RBI. Brendan Rivoli (Douglassville, Pa.) also had two hits in the contest and went 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the contest. He leads the team with nine multi-hit games.
Lefthanded pitcher Billy Price (Morristown, N.J.) made his collegiate debut as a reliever in the seventh inning. He recorded the final two outs of the frame and stranded a Liberty runner at first base.
Virginia will continue its road trip this weekend with a three-game ACC series at Georgia Tech. The series opener is slated for Friday (March 15) at 6 p.m. All three games will be carried live on ACC Network Extra.
• Zach Gelof (Rehoboth Beach, Del) singled in the fifth inning to extend his team-best, 16-game reached base streak.
• Eikhoff tripled in the second inning to score Virginia’s third run. It was his fifth career three-bagger and the team’s second triple in four games.
• The seven runs by Liberty were the second time this season a Virginia opponent has scored five or more runs in an inning.
• Liberty’s last win against Virginia came on Feb. 28, 2012, an 8-0 win at Disharoon Park. Virginia leads the all-time series, 38-21-1.