Liberty defeats Old Dominion 1-0 in 16 innings, Shawn Clowers pitches
NORFOLK, Va. -- Liberty third baseman Dylan Allen drew a walk with the bases load to force in the winning run in the 16th inning, as the Flames defeated the Old Dominion Monarchs 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Bud Metheny Baseball Complex.
With a light mist falling, Liberty scored the lone run of the game in the top of the 16th inning. With two outs, catcher Danny Grauer dropped a double along the left field line. After an intentional walk to shortstop Dalton Britt, who had four hits in the games, center fielder Ashton Perritt reached on an infield single to load the bases. Allen, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the eighth, then drew a walk to force a run and give Liberty a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, reliever Blake Fulghum got Old Dominion right fielder to fly out with runners at the corners to close out the 1-0 victory and earn his first save of the year.
Liberty moves to 15-7 on the season. The 16-inning game is tied for the longest in Flames' program history. Liberty also played 16 innings in a 6-5 loss to VMI at Worthington Stadium on April 19, 2008. Old Dominion drops to 12-9. It was the Monarchs fourth extra inning game of the year. An intermittent rain fell throughout the game, the second meeting between the two teams this season.
Liberty received strong pitching efforts from starting pitcher Jared Lyons and reliever Shawn Clowers. For the third consecutive outing, Lyons gave the Flames a quality effort. He shut out the Monarchs during the first nine innings, the longest outing of his career. The left-hander handcuffed the Monarchs, scattering four hits, striking out five batters and walking one.
He only faced one scoring threat, when the only Old Dominion runner during his outing moved into scoring position with one out in the sixth. However, Lyons was able to strand him at third base to end the inning.
After taking over in the 10th inning, Clowers retired the first 14 batters he faced, combining with Lyons to not allow the Monarchs a hit, a span running from a one-out single in the sixth to a two-out single in the 14th. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowing two hits in running his record to 2-0 on the year. The reliever struck out a career-high eight batters and walked one.
In the bottom of the 15th, Clowers pitched out of a one-out jam, preventing an Old Dominion victory. With Monarchs on second and third with one out, the left-hander struck out designated hitter Ben Slanton and produced a fly out to center field to send the game to the 16th inning.
Liberty left runners in scoring position in five innings from the eighth inning on.
Old Dominion pitcher Brett Harris falls to 0-1. The ninth Monarch pitcher in the contest, he gave up one run on two hits over one inning. He struck out one batter and walked two.
The Flames out-hit Old Dominion 12-8. Britt tied his career-high for hits in a game with four. Grauer and right fielder Will Shepherd each had two hits for the Flames.