CLINTON, SC – Presbyterian College’s Tannor Byrd led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk-off home run, his second homer of the day, to give PC a thrilling 8-7 victory over Liberty on Friday at the PC Baseball Complex. The Blue Hose improve to 9-19 and 4-4 in the Big South, while Liberty falls to 14-11 and 4-4 in Big South play.
How It Happened
Liberty wasted no time putting up three runs on four hits in the first inning. DJ Artis sent the first pitch into left field for a double. Trey McDyre then singled to advance the runner. A fielder’s choice brought Artis home. Then, Jonathan White nearly turned a triple play, catching a line drive and tagging second base to get McDyre out. However, White’s throw to first was low and allowed Tre Todd to reach second. A single by Logan Mathieu scored Todd, and Mathieu was brought home by a Cam Locklear single to give Liberty the 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Thatcher Coleman drew a walk to put one on for Byrd. The sophomore infielder sent a 2-0 pitch off the scoreboard to give PC its first lead of the day, 5-3.
In the top of the fourth, Jonathan Embry drew a leadoff walk and was advanced to third off a walk and fielder’s choice. McDyre then hit an RBI single to left to cut into PC’s lead, 5-4. Todd tied the game at 5-5 with a single to right that scored Artis. The Blue Hose then brought Jackson Dean on to relieve their starter, Will Smith. Dean allowed McDyre to score on a Dylan Allen single, but struck out Mathieu and got a groundout to end the inning with Liberty leading 6-5.
Byrd led off the fifth inning with a double to left center. Walks to Nick Guimbarda and Bladt loaded the bases for White with no outs. The Flames brought in Vinnie Tarantola to relieve their starter, Noah Skirrow. The senior walked White to tie the game, 6-6, but got out of the inning with a pop out and 5-3 double play.
In the bottom of the seventh, Guimbarda drew another walk. He would come around to score on a single by White that was misplayed by the centerfielder and give PC the 7-6 lead.
Liberty’s Artis drew a walk in the eighth inning, stole second, and then scored off a single by Todd to make the score 7-7.
All of that set the stage for Byrd. He battled the count full and sent the decisive pitch over the left field fence to give PC the walk-off, 8-7 win.
Pitchers of Record
Ryan Hedrick (1-0) gets his first win of the season throwing 1.1 innings of relief. He gave up two hits and had two strikeouts.
Andrew Stout (0-2) took the loss for Liberty. He pitched 1.2 innings, giving up two hits and striking out two.
PC Player of the Game
Tannor Byrd went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a double, three runs, and three RBI batting from the No. 9 spot.
AJ Priaulx hit a three-run homer in the first inning to record his 48th hit and third home run of the season.
Jonathan White recorded two hits on the day and has reached base in 23 games straight.
Jackson Dean retired nine batters in a row from the 4th to the 7th inning and retired 13 of 17 batters over 4.1 innings of relief work.
The Blue Hose hit a solo, two-run, and three-run homer on Friday against Liberty. Paired with Thursday’s grand slam by Coleman, PC has hit for a home run cycle on Liberty after entering the series with just 14 home runs over 26 games.
PC and Liberty will square off in game three of the series on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.