March 1, 2013
Box Score (.pdf)
LYNCHBURG, Va. -
Nick Paxton hit for the cycle, going 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI as Liberty defeated Army, 6-4, in the first game of the Liberty Invitational Tournament Friday afternoon at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Nick Lacik went 2-for-3 with two runs scored to help the Flames (6-2) to their sixth consecutive victory. Jon Crucitti and Mark McCants both went 2-for-4 to lead the Black Knights (0-5).
After two scoreless innings, Army took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third as the Black Knights put together four singles. Grant Van Orden singled with one out and advanced to third base on Crucitti's base hit. Daniel Cortes then drove home Van Orden with his RBI single. After Alex Jensen flew out to center field, McCants singled through the right side to score Crucitti from second base.
Liberty countered with two runs in the bottom of the third. Lacik opened the frame with a single and was aboard when Paxton connected for his first home run of the year to knot the game at 2-2.
The Flames then took a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning on a pair of sacrifice flies. Lacik walked on four pitches to begin the inning, stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch. The next batter, Dalton Sype, lifted a sacrifice fly to bring home Lacik for a 3-2 edge. Paxton followed by ripping a liner into the right field gap for a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Cordell to give Liberty a 4-2 advantage.
The Flames stretched their lead to four runs in the seventh. With one out, Paxton completed his cycle with a double. Cordell followed with a RBI single to make it, 5-2. Two batters later, Justin Sizemore dropped a single into left field, plating Cordell for a 6-2 edge.
Army cut into the Liberty advantage with two runs in the eighth. The Black Knights loaded the bases with two outs, and pinch hitter Michael Sands followed with a two-run single, trimming the Flames' advantage to 6-4.
Liberty reliever Josh Richardson retired Army in order to close out the victory and collect his first save of the year. Flames starter Carson Herndon (1-1) picked up the victory after allowing two runs on five hits over the first five innings.
Army right-hander Jack Verrill (0-1) took the loss after giving up four runs on four hits over 4.2 innings. He struck out one and walked three batters.
Army will return to action at the Liberty Invitational Tournament on Saturday, March 2, when the Black Knights face Siena at 11 a.m.
Game Notes: Army falls to 1-5 all-time versus Liberty ... Jack Verrill and Patrick Gardner made their Army debuts today ... Taylor Goucher made his first appearance of the season ... Grant Van Orden collected his first career hit during Army's two-run third inning.