ROCK HILL, S.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) – Big South Pitcher of the Year Trey Lambert fired a four-hitter over 7.2 innings to lead No. 1 seed Liberty to the 3-0 win over No. 8 seed Gardner-Webb in game three of the 2014 Big South Baseball Championship presented by Hardees and Triangle Rent A Car, Tuesday afternoon at the Winthrop Ballpark.
With the win, the Liberty improves to 40-14, the Flames fourth 40-win season in program history with three of those seasons coming under Big South Coach of the Year Jim Toman. Gardner-Webb falls to 24-30.
Liberty plated two runs in the bottom of the third to take a 2-0 lead. With one out, Dylan Allen drew a walk and scored on a double by Ashton Perritt. An errant throw by the Gardner-Webb second baseman on the cut off allowed Perritt to move to third and come home on a wild pitch.
Liberty added a run in the bottom half of the fourth inning to push its lead to 3-0. Big South Player of the Year Ryan Seiz led the inning off with a single. Becker Sankey followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Seiz up to second base. Two batters later, Dalton Britt laced a double to left center to bring Seiz around.
Gardner-Webb loaded the bases in the top half of the ninth inning but could not push a runner across.
Lambert posted five strikeouts and improves to 11-2. Matt Marsh recorded his third save with a scoreless ninth. Matt Fraudin took the loss for the Runnin’ Bulldogs and falls to 4-3 on year.
Britt and Perritt paced the Liberty offense with two hits, while Ryan Hodge led the Runnin’ Bulldogs with a pair of hits.
The Flames will play the winner of the No. 4 High Point/No. 5 Radford contest in the night game on Wednesday, May 21. The Runnin’ Bulldogs will play the loser of the Panthers/Highlanders game 45 minutes following game five.
Liberty Head Coach Jim Toman
“Trey Lambert played awesome, and it feels good to get 40 wins. It is always important to stay in the winners bracket and we are looking forward to getting back out there.”
Gardner-Webb Head Coach Rusty Stroupe
“Good game, with great pitching from both sides. We had opportunities to score but couldn’t move one across. Just a great game with great competition in the Big South Conference.