CLINTON, S.C. - The Blue Hose pounded out four runs off five hits in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it was Liberty's seven runs in the tenth inning that gave the Flames a 16-9 win over Presbyterian College on Sunday afternoon. Two PC players went four-for-five on the day while Liberty's Nathan Thompson tallied seven RBI in the game.
Liberty (29-11, 12-3 BSC) struck first for three runs in the second inning.
PC (11-28, 3-12 BSC) mustered an answer with a pair of runs in the second inning. Matt Hill drove Nate Horton in to score PC's first run with runners on second and third base. An Aaron Preston sacrifice fly brought Ryan Morris in from third base to cut the Liberty lead to just 3-2.
A bases clearing double in the top of the third doubled Liberty's score to 6-2. PC would answer again in the bottom of the inning, this time with just one run. Mack Hite opened the inning with a double down the left field line. He was plated by Tony Micklon's RBI single up the middle of the infield.
The Blue Hose continued to whittle away at the lead in the fifth inning with another lone run. Hite reached on a catcher's interference and was worked around to score again off the bat of Micklon to cut the lead back to 6-4.
Liberty doubled the advantage to open the eighth inning with two more runs off six hits. Liberty would finish the game with 22 total hits to PC's 16 hits. Both teams committed four fielding errors each.
PC chipped the lead back to 8-5 with one in the bottom of the eighth inning. Ryan Morris knocked a sacrifice fly to bring Kenny Bryant in to score his first run of the day.
Another Liberty run in the top of the ninth gave PC a target of four runs in the final frame. The Flames led 9-5 going into PC's final trip to the plate.
PC came out swinging as Carl Della Torre opened the inning with a single. After a strikeout, a fielder's choice and a single loaded the bases for Bryant. The Blue Hose first baseman knocked in two runs with a single to left field. Micklon's single would re-load the bases, allowing Nate Horton to bring Hite home and cut the lead to just one run. Ryan Morris earned a walk to bring in the tying run and leave the bases loaded with one out. Unfortunately the next batter, Matt Hill, would ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning level at 9-9.
In the top of the 10th, Liberty came to life with seven runs off five hits while benefiting from two Blue Hose fielding errors in the extra stanza. Eleven batters came to the plate for the Flames in the inning in which three PC pitchers worked in.
The Blue Hose were unable to answer in the bottom of the inning even after Derek Herron's leadoff single. The senior moved to second on the same play thanks to a throwing error by Liberty. Two strikeouts were followed by a single that put runners on the corners before Bryant struck out to end the game.
Gabe Grammer was given the loss after the sophomore came in and recorded two outs in the top of the ninth to stem the Liberty tide. However, he was credited with four runs that crossed in the 10th before being lifted to take his first loss of the season. Liberty's Cameron Giannini earned the win to improve to 3-2 on the year.
The Blue Hose will now break for exam week and return to the diamond this weekend against Winthrop. The three-game series starts on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 with a day-night doubleheader followed by a Sunday matinee.