Liberty broke open a 4-all tie with three runs in the bottom of the eighth on its way to a 7-4 win over UNC-Asheville Friday night in the opener of a three-game weekend series in Lynchburg. The Flames, who had been held to four hits through the first seven innings, racked up five hits in the eighth and plated three go-ahead runs.
Second baseman Ryan Seiz led off the inning by lining a triple into the left field corner off the Bulldogs’ starting pitcher Dean Roland. After a pitching change, designated hitter Becker Sankey singled to give Liberty a 5-4 edge. First baseman Alex Close then doubled and later scored on a single by Nick Lacik, who entered as a defensive replacement in left field in the top of the frame. Center fielder Ashton Perritt followed with an RBI single to put the Flames in front, 7-4. Perrit went 2-for-3 with an rbi, run scored and two stolen bases.
He also came on in the ninth to retire the Bulldogs in order to seal the win and collect his 10th save of the season, tying a career-high from last season.
Liberty moves to 17-1 in Big South Conference action and 33-10 overall. The Flames have won 15 consecutive Big South games and are 27-3 over their last 30 contests. UNC Asheville drops to 4-14 in conference play and 12-30 overall.
Liberty and UNC Asheville will meet again in the middle game of their three-game series Saturday afternoon at 3 at Liberty Baseball Stadium.