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Lafayette and Liberty each sweep Doubleheaders


Game 1: Lafayette 5 Stony Brook 1
Game 2: Lafayette 7 Stony Brook 6

EASTON, Pa.-The Lafayette baseball team swept Sunday’s doubleheader against Stony Brook to take three of four in this weekend’s home-and-home series. Senior Kevin Reese earned his 15th career victory with a 5-1 win in Sunday’s opening game and the Leopards came out on top of a back-and-forth battle to take the second game 7-6.

Lafayette (25-22) won the first game thanks to a five-run third inning. Reese allowed just one run in 5.2 innings of work to earn his fourth win of the season and the 15th of his career. Joe Ezekiel and Tom Hayes both went 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored. Hayes finished the afternoon with six hits and four RBI.

The Seawolves jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after Reese gave up a leadoff double and a one-out RBI single to Michael Stephan.

Lafayette took the lead in the top of the third with five runs off Stony Brook starter Evan Stecko-Haley. Chris Luick reached first on a fielder’s choice and Ezekiel’s double to right field scored Luick. Senior Tom Ambrosole followed with another RBI double and Nick Tucker’s sacrifice fly scored the Leopards’ third run of the inning. Hayes followed with the inning’s second double to plate Ambrosole, and Ryan Roberts sent Hayes home with a single to left field for the 5-1 Lafayette lead.

Reese did not allow another run after the first inning, working out of trouble in the fifth after putting two runners on base and left in the sixth with the 5-1 lead. Senior reliever Steve Roberts entered the game with two outs and two men on base in the top of the sixth and got Nick Thode to strike out swinging to end the inning. Roberts retired the side in order in the seventh for the 5-1 Lafayette victory.

In the second game, the Leopards scored runs in four different innings as the lead switched hands several times over the course of the game. A two-run homer from Daniel Bierce proved to be the decisive hit as Lafayette held on for the 7-6 win. Hayes went 4-for-4 at the plate, including his fourth home run of the season, while reliever Brian Mostek earned the win and Roberts collected his fifth save of the season.

Lafayette starter Ryan Hanna kept Stony Brook (26-19) off the scoreboard for three innings and his team went ahead in third when Matt Hall led off with a line drive single to right field. He came around to score on Hayes’ RBI double to center field for the game’s first run. Roberts singled through the left side to put runners on the corners for Rob Froio, who singled to left field to make it 2-0.

In the fourth, Hanna gave up a leadoff home run to Brian Witkowski to cut Lafayette’s lead to one (2-1). The Seawolves tied the game on a Rob Dier double to center field and took a 3-2 lead on Mike Tansey’s RBI single through the left side. Joe Kinney then went to his bullpen and brought in senior Jason Morytko, who got the final two batters to strike out swinging.

Lafayette regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Hall was a hit by a pitch and replaced in the game by Tucker. Hayes then came to bat and sent a pitch over the right field fence to give his team the 4-3 lead on his second home run of the season.

Stony Brook took the lead back in the sixth on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Mike Tansey. A RBI single from Justin Echevarria made it 5-4.

In the bottom of the sixth, A.J. Miller hit a one out single to right field and advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Hayes singled to second base and Roberts singled to right field to plate Miller to tie the game at five.

Brian Mostek came in from the bullpen in the seventh and gave up two, one-out walks before surrendering a sacrifice fly to Dier to give the lead back to Stony Brook.

The lead switched hands yet again as the Leopards scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh on Bierce’s home run. Froio opened the inning with a triple to right center and Bierce hit a pitch over the left field fence to make it a 7-6 Lafayette lead.

Roberts, who came on in relief in the eighth in his second appearance of the afternoon, struck out the side in the ninth to give the Leopards the doubleheader sweep.

The Leopards wrap-up their 2008 season with a road game against Rider on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Game 1: Liberty 13 Charleston Southern 2

Charleston, S.C. – Liberty’s David Giammaresi had three hits, while a trio of Flames hit home runs in a 13-2 win over the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, Sunday in the first game of a doubleheader at Buccaneer Field.

With the win, Liberty moves to 11-6 in conference play and 24-23 overall. Charleston Southern drops to 4-10 in the Big South and 15-27 overall.

Just as they did in the first game of the series on Saturday afternoon, the Flames plated two runs in the first inning for a 2-0 lead. Kenneth Negron (Jr., 2B, Kingwood, Texas) opened the game with a single to center field, and two batters later, P.K. Keller (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.) singled. Giammaresi (Sr., 1B, Coral Springs, Fla.) followed with a double to push across the first run of the contest. Keller then made it 2-0 Flames, as Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.) lifted a sacrifice fly to right field.

In the third inning, Liberty extended its advantage. For the second time in the game, Negron and Keller singled. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Giammaresi then sent a blast to right field, which right fielder Tyler Thornburg reached over the fence and caught, robbing the Liberty first baseman of a home run. Negron scored on the sacrifice fly, giving the Flames advantage to 3-0.

Liberty stretched its lead with two runs in the fourth. Garrett Young (Sr., DH, Fountain Valley, Calif.) put the Flames up, 4-0, leading off the inning. The senior designated hitter ripped a shot past the scoreboard in left field for his fourth round tripper of the year. The next hitter, Aaron Grijalva (Sr., LF, Redlands, Calif.) followed with a double into the left field corner. Grijalva advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tim Rotola (Jr., CF, Wichita, Ka.) and scored on a single by Aaron Phillips (Sr., SS, Claremore, Okla.) for a 5-0 Liberty edge.

Charleston Southern broke through against Liberty starter Dustin Umberger (Jr., RHP, Hummelstown, Pa.) in the sixth for a run. Catcher Mike Beattie led off the inning with a single and became the first CSU runner to reach second, on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Brantley Meier. Three batters later, a single by left fielder Steve Antolik brought home Beattie with the first Buccaneer run of the contest.

In the seventh inning, Charleston Southern used back-to-back doubles to cut the Liberty advantage to 5-2. With one out, shortstop Tyler Black doubled to right center field and scored on a double by Thornburg.

Liberty broke open the contest in the ninth. Phillips reached on an error by Buccaneer shortstop Taylor to open the frame. After a sacrifice bunt by Negron advanced the runner to second, Errol Hollinger (Jr., C, Upland, Calif.) ripped a double into the left field corner to plate Phillips. Two batters later, Giammaresi singled with two outs to chase home Hollinger. Brown followed with a single and Young walked to load the bases. Grijalva then connected for a grand slam home run, the first round tripper of the season for senior left fielder. Rotola then reached on a throwing error by first baseman Will Rodriguez. Phillips capped the scoring in the inning with a two-run home run over the left field wall for a 13-2 final margin. The blast was the shortstop’s fifth of the year.

Umberger runs his record to 6-3 on the year. The junior allowed two runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked one. Steven Evans (Fr., RHP, Amherst, Va.) pitched 1 2/3 frames of scoreless relief for Liberty. Tyler Light (Jr., RHP, San Bernardino, Calif.) threw a scoreless ninth inning. Charleston Southern starter Cody Higgins falls to 2-2 on the season. He gave up five runs on eight hits in four innings of work.

Giammaresi led all hitters in the contest with three hits and drove in three runs. Four other Flames–Negron, Keller, Grijalva and Phillips-had two hits apiece. Four Buccaneers had two hits each in the contest.

The two teams will meet in the second game of the twinbill this afternoon at Buccaneer Field.

Game 2: Liberty 8 Charleston Southern 2

Charleston, S.C. – Liberty starter Ryan Page went the distance for the second time this season, as the Flames completed a doubleheader sweep with an 8-2 victory over the Charleston Southern Buccaneers in game two, Sunday afternoon at Buccaneer Field.

By taking both ends of the twinbill, Liberty also completes a sweep of the three-game Big South baseball series. The Flames move to 12-6 in the Big South and 25-23 overall with the win. Charleston Southern falls to 4-12 in the conference and 15-28 overall.

Page pitched his second complete game of the season to run his mark to 4-5 on the year. The senior left-hander allowed two runs, both unearned, while scattering six hits. He struck out nine batters and walked just one in the game. Earlier in the season, Page went the full nine innings in a 6-1 victory over VMI on April 20.

Charleston Southern jumped out to its first lead of three-game series in the opening inning. With a runner on and two outs, designated hitter Derek Smith connected for his 10th home run of the season, giving the Buccaneers a 2-0 lead.

Liberty quickly cut the Bucs advantage to 2-1, in the top of the second inning. Garrett Young (Sr., DH, Fountain Valley, Calif.) singled to lead off the frame and stole second. After Aaron Grijalva (Sr., LF, Redlands, Calif.) was hit by a pitch, Tim Rotola (Jr., CF, Wichita, Kan.) moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Young then scored the first run of the game for the Flames on a ground out by Aaron Phillips (Sr., SS, Claremore, Okla.).

In the third frame, Liberty took advantage of a Charleston Southern miscue to take a 3-2 lead. David Giammaresi (Sr., 1B, Coral Springs, Fla.) singled to open the inning. Cody Brown (Jr., 3B, Boca Raton, Fla.) then lined a ball to left, which Buccaneer left fielder Steve Antolik dropped for a two-base error. Giammaresi plated the first run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Young. Moments later, Brown who had moved to third on Young’s fly ball, scored on a wild pitch.

After being kept off the scoreboard for three innings, Liberty gave itself a cushion by plating four runs in the seventh. With one out, P.K. Keller (Sr., RF, Clearwater, Fla.) singled and Giammaresi walked. After a double steal, Brown plated the first run of the uprising with a fielder’s choice ground out. Two batters later, Grijlava hit his second home run of the season, giving Liberty a 7-2 advantage. The left fielder had hit his first round tripper of the year, a grand slam in the ninth inning in game one of the doubleheader.

Meanwhile, after yielding the two runs in the first, Page (Sr., LHP, Cranberry Twp., Pa.) kept the Buccaneer batters in check. Page retired 12-straight hitters until center fielder Tom Burkett reached on a bunt single in the fifth inning. From the top of the second through the first batter in the fifth, the left-hander struck out seven-straight Charleston Southern batters. He went on to retire the side in order in the sixth, retiring 16 of 17 batters until the bottom of the seventh.

In the bottom of the seventh, Buccaneer shortstop Tyler Black opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a ground out. However, Page stranded the runner by retiring the next two batters.

Liberty added to the final margin with a run in the ninth. Keller doubled to begin the inning and later, scored on a ground out by Brown for the 8-2 final.

Charleston Southern starter Jesse Cadenhead falls to 1-1 on the year. The right-hander gave up three runs, one earned, on five hits over five innings.

Keller and Giammaresi had two hits each for the Flames. Black had two hits for the Buccaneers.

Liberty continues a six-game road swing with a nonconference game at Virginia Tech, Wednesday. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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