Liberty's Win Over North Carolina Highlights Wednesday Baseball


Tyler Cox and Trey Wimmer each hit home runs, as the Liberty Flames defeated the No. 6 North Carolina Tar Heels, 5-3, Wednesday evening at Boshamer Stadium.

Cox had two hits, including his fifth home run of the year, driving in two runs for the Flames.

Wimmer hit his second home run of the season in the win, while shortstop Zack Haley collected two doubles and scored two runs for Liberty.

Liberty moves to 31-10 on the year. It is the second time this season that the Flames have beaten a nationally-ranked team.  The Flames shut out No. 18 Virginia on Feb. 28 in Charlottesville. North Carolina's record drops to 28-10.

Each team jumped on the scoreboard with a run in the second inning. The Flames opened the scoring in the top of the frame. Cox ripped the first pitch of the inning from Tar Heel starter Chris Munnelly off the scoreboard in left center field for his fifth home run of the year to stake Liberty to a 1-0 advantage.
North Carolina countered with its first run of the game in the bottom of the inning. Designated hitter Cody Stubbs dropped a double into left field to open the home half of the second. Third baseman Michael Russell followed with a single, tying the game at 1-1.

Liberty took a lead by plating a run in the third.  Haley led off the inning with double to left field and scored on a two-out single by Cox for a 2-1 advantage.

The host Tar Heels tied the game in the sixth.  With one out, catcher Jacob Stallings singled. Two batters later, Russell doubled into the left center field gap to plate Stallings and make it 2-2.

With a light rain falling, Liberty went in front in the top of the eighth.  With one out, center fielder Andy Smith and second baseman Bryan Aanderud each singled.  Cox then walked to load the bases. After a pitching change by the Tar Heels, first baseman Alex Close lifted a sacrifice fly to deep left to deliver Smith for 3-2 edge.

In the bottom of the inning, Tar Heel center fielder Chaz Frank began the frame with an infield single and stole second base. Two batters later, Stallings dropped a single into left field to move Frank to third base. Liberty summoned John Niggli from the bullpen and the right hander got Stubbs to ground into a double play to end the threat and preserve the Flames advantage.

Liberty added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth.  Wimmer led off the inning with his second home run of the year over the left field wall, upping the Liberty advantage to 4-2. Later in the frame, Haley doubled for the second time in the contest, and came around to score on a single by Smith for a 5-2 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, North Carolina tried to rally, as the first three men of the inning were either hit by a pitch or walked by Niggli. However, the right-hander regrouped and got pinch hitter Tom Zengel to ground into double play and completed the save on a groundout by Parks Jordan.

Liberty reliever Jared Lyons moves to 1-2 on the year. The freshman left-hander gave up one run on four hits over 2 1/3 innings of relief. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.

Niggli earns the first save of his Flames career.  The right-hander closed out the final 1 2/3 innings, yielding one run.  He walked one batter.

North Carolina reliever Hobbs Johnson falls to 2-1 on the season.  The right-hander allowed one run on two hits over 2 1/3 innings pitched. The second of seven Tar Heel pitchers in the contest, he struck out four and did not walk a batter.

Liberty collected 10 hits in the game, while North Carolina had nine hits. Until the ninth inning, no batter in the game reached safely on anything other than a hit.

The Flames now return to Big South Conference play on the weekend.  Liberty will travel to Asheville, N.C., for a three-game series at UNC Asheville.  The series opener at Greenwood Field is schedule for Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.

Charleston Southern (15-25) pounded out 17 hits, including three home runs, to power past visiting Savannah State, 11-7, on Wednesday afternoon at CSU Ballpark.

Brennan Dorsett (1-0) picked up the win on the mound for the Bucs, tossing five innings and allowing four earned runs on seven hits. He also walked four and struck out six Tiger hitters.

Savannah State starter Michael Oglesby (0-4) took the loss after giving up three earned runs on four hits in two innings.

Every CSU starter recorded at least one hit with Walt Quattlebaum leading the way with a three-for-five effort, and was one of four Bucs to drive in two runs on the day. Also recording multiple hits were Bobby Ison, Harrison Wilkins, John Faircloth, Robbie Streett, Blake Hunt and Thomas Levander.

The Tigers would take an early lead, pushing a run across in the top of the first when Joseph McCrary laced a Dorsett pitch up the middle for one of his four hits and one of his four RBI, plating Todd Hagen who drew a walk to lead off the contest.

CSU's answer would be the long ball in the bottom of the second. Hunt belted a two-out home run to left center for his second round-tripped of the season. Levander followed with a single and Ison belted his first career home run to give CSU a 3-1 lead.

Leading 4-1 in the fourth, the Buccaneers padded the lead with a five-run outburst. Levander collected his second hit of the afternoon to start the frame and Ison followed with a bunt single. Wilkins's single to left scored Levander and Faircloth's infield single scored Ison. After Alex Tomasovich grounded into a double play, CSU picked up run scoring singles from Quattlebaum, Streett and Hunt.

The Tiger made things interesting in the fifth. Hagen led off with an infield single and scored on McCrary's double. After Julius Green struck out looking for the second out, Peter Poole homered to left field off Dorsett to cut the deficit to 9-4 in favor of the Bucs.

With CSU leading, 9-7, in the eighth, Faircloth extended the margin with his third home run of the season. Streett recorded his second hit and second RBI of the afternoon with a single into left, scoring Tomasovich, who walked earlier in the inning.

Zach Hagaman began the top of the ninth on the mound for the Bucs but back-to-back singles from Savannah State would bring on Corey Deighan, with the tying run on-deck, to pick up his fourth save of the season. Deighan struck out the side to end the game.

McCrary led the Tigers at the plate going 4-for-5 with four RBI in the contest. Hagen added a 3-for-4 performance with three runs scored.

The Buccaneers return to action this Friday when they travel to Clinton, S.C. to face Big South foe Presbyterian College in a three-game series. First pitch Friday is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. The next home game for CSU will be May 4 when they host Winthrop at 2:00 p.m.

The High Point University baseball team lost to Elon, 12-3, on Wednesday at Latham Park in Elon, N.C.  Seven different Panthers pitched in the game.

Elon starter David Whitehead scattered three hits over six innings with one walk and four strikeouts. He improved to 2-2 on the season.

HPU starter Adam Pratson took the loss, putting his record at 0-1. He allowed five runs, three earned, on three hits with one walk in just one inning of work.

The Panthers finally broke through with three runs in the ninth inning. Andrew Bartlett, Zach Tessier and Stephen Wytiaz had three straight pinch-hit singles. Wytiaz drove in Bartlett with a basehit to leftfield. John Siciliano and Sean Wilson drove in runs with groundouts to the shortstop.

Alex Swim hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Pratson. The Phoenix put two more runners on base but Pratson was able to get out of the first without further damage.

The first two Elon batters reached in the second inning, Casey Jones on an error and Quinn Bower on a walk before Pratson was removed from the game. Kyle Wigmore gave up a bunt single to Sebastian Gomez to load the bases. Tyler McVicar drove in two with a single through the left side and Garrett Koster made it a 9-0 with a three-run homer.

John Maloney gave up an RBI double in the fourth inning as Elon went ahead 10-0. Swim drove in two more runs in the fifth inning with a double off the rightfield wall. The runs were credited to Nick Schumacher.

Jordan Foster, Harrison Phillips and Jaime Schulz combined to keep Elon scoreless for the final 2-2/3 innings.

High Point stands at 22-18 on the season while Elon improves to 22-17.

The Panthers return to Big South play this weekend with three games at Coastal Carolina. Friday's first pitch is set for 6 p.m.

Wednesday afternoon's baseball game between Presbyterian College and North Carolina Central has been canceled due to rain in the Laurens County area.  There will be no makeup date.  PC begins a Big South Conference series on Friday at 3 p.m. against Charleston Southern at the PC Baseball Complex.

Continuing steady rain showers on Wednesday afternoon on an already damp surface at Ronnie G. Childress Field at Hennon Stadium has forced the postponement of the midweek nonconference baseball game between mountain rivals Western Carolina and UNC Asheville.  No make-up date for the game has been discussed at this time.

The Bulldogs are back at Greenwood Field on Friday at 3 p.m. when Asheville hosts Big South Conference Liberty.

Due to rainfall and further projected precipitation in the Harrisonburg area Wednesday, the VMI/James Madison baseball game has been cancelled. There are no plans to reschedule, however, the two teams will meet in Lexington in just one week, on Wednesday, April 25.

VMI baseball will now return to action Friday, when the Keydets open a three-game series with Campbell. First pitch at Gray-Minor Stadium is scheduled for 6 p.m

The baseball game on Wednesday night between the Winthrop Eagles and Furman Paladins has been postponed due to weather, while this weekend's series with Radford will now begin on Friday with a doubleheader.  The game with the Paladins has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 8 at 6 p.m. at Latham Stadium in Greenville, SC.

The three-game series with the Highlanders will begin with a doubleheader on Friday afternoon beginning at 3 p.m., with the second game beginning approximately 40 minutes after the conclusion of game one. The series finale between the two teams will start at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Radford's scheduled non-conference home game with East Tennessee State on Wednesday, April 18 has been postponed due to rain.  The game will be made up on Wednesday, May 9 at a time to be determined.

Radford (21-15, 6-3) travels to Winthrop for a three-game Big South series beginning on Friday, April 20 at 3 p.m. with a pair of games.