Liberty Snaps ECU's Winning Streak 5-0
Matt Pennington tossed a career-high seven shutout innings, while Jared Lyons had two perfect frames in relief helping Liberty (29-17) to a 5-0 victory over East Carolina (29-17) Wednesday afternoon at the Liberty Baseball Stadium. Pennington (1-1) scattered five hits over his seven scoreless innings recording a career-best five strikeouts with three walks. Lyons, the Flames regular Friday night starter, chipped in with four strikeouts snapping the Pirates six-game win streak. Lucroy (2-4) lasted just 1.1 innings allowing a pair of runs (both earned) on one hit with a walk and two strikeouts. Nick Durazo tossed 2.2 frames of relief surrendering two runs (both earned) on three hits with three free passes and one strikeout. Evan Voliva worked a career-high three innings of scoreless relief with two strikeouts, while Jimmy Boyd allowed a run (unearned) on two hits while fanning two in one inning of work. Dalton Britt and Nick Salisbury each collected a pair of hits for Liberty, while three others added base knocks. Four different Flames registered an RBI and four scored runs. Nick Paxton, Ashton Perritt and Salisbury recorded RBI and scored runs on the afternoon. Hunter Allen posted two of ECU’s five hits, while Parker Lamm, Luke Lowery and Travis Watkins each tallied base hits. Up Next: ECU returns home this weekend playing host to UConn in a three-game American Athletic Conference tilt at Lewis Field inside Clark-LeClair Stadium. The series gets underway Friday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. followed by single games Saturday, Mary 2 (4 p.m.) and Sunday, May 3 (1 p.m.). How It Happened: Liberty jumped out to an early 2-0 lead pushing across a pair of runs in the second frame capitalizing on three hit batters, a pair of walks and a single. With Becker Sankey (second) and Will Shepherd (first) both reached after being hit by Lucroy pitches. Sammy Taormina followed with a single to left that looked to score the games first run, but Lowery’s pin-point throw to Watkins at the plate retired Sankey for the first out. But another hit batter (Andrew Yacyk) loaded the bases for Nick Paxton, who drew a walk plating Shepherd for a 1-0 Liberty lead. ECU went to the pen bringing in the lefty Durazo, who struck out Nick Salisbury for the second out before issuing another bases loaded walk, this time to Perritt pushing the lead to 2-0. The Flames added to its lead in the fourth scoring two more runs on RBI singles by Britt and Close making it a 4-0 Liberty advantage. Yacyk walked to start the inning but was retired on the Pirates league-leading 49th double play of the season. Salisbury reached on an infield single and Perritt was hit by another Pirate pitch putting runners on first and second. Britt’s infield single to first allowed Salisbury to score from second and Close capped the frame with an RBI base hit through the left side pushing across Perritt. A pair of Pirate errors in the eighth scored the games final run when Paxton crossed home on Salisbury’s infield single combined with an errant throw by Boyd on the play. ECU’s had three opportunities to break through in the first, third and fourth innings, but Pennington got out of jams in each frame stranding a pair of Pirates on the base paths. Game Notes: ECU collected one two-out hits (153 on season), while Liberty had three … Both teams left eight runners on base … ECU had 19 chances to advances runners but managed just three compared to Liberty’s 10 of 20 advancement rate … Hunter Allen extended his hit streak to 15 games with a single up the middle to start the contest … He added another single in the third pushing his multi-hit total this season to 11 games … ECU turned its 49th twin-killing of the season, which ranks fifth nationally … The Pirates were shutout for the third time this season (NC State/7-0, USF/10-0) and had its season-long win streak snapped at six games.
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