Baseball: College stops bleeding with win over Liberty

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April 22, 2011

12:23 AM

William and Mary jumpstarted its offense Tuesday for an 11-5 victory
against Liberty, completing the season sweep of the Flames.

The much-needed victory temporarily stops the team’s downward spiral.
The Tribe (19-20, 9-9 CAA) had dropped four in a row coming into the
contest.

“When we were struggling, it seemed like everything would kind of go
downhill,” senior shortstop Derrick Osteen, who led the team with 3
RBIs, said. “Really good to get that taste out of our mouths.”

The Flames got on the board first, jumping out to a 2-0 lead on
sophomore pitcher Matt Wainman. All of a sudden, it was looking like
the Tribe was in for another long night.

But the College was finally able to generate some much-needed offense
in the third. Osteen drew a two-out walk, junior first baseman Tadd
Bower singled and senior second baseman Jonathan Slattery walked to
load the bases. Junior right fielder Stephen Arcure walked to score a
run, and sophomore left fielder Ryan Williams singled, scoring two.
The Tribe would never relinquish the lead, as Wainman settled down
after his poor start, shutting out the Flames after the first inning
to finish with two earned runs on five hits in five innings.

“We did a nice job of recovering from a shaky start,” head coach Frank
Leoni said. “We didn’t make many mistakes tonight.”

In the sixth, the College’s bats came alive once again. Freshman
catcher Devin White singled up the middle, and sophomore right fielder
Derek Lowe walked. Sophomore center fielder Ryan Brown then singled to
score White, and freshman third baseman Ryan Lindemuth was plunked to
load the bases for Osteen, who was then hit by a pitch himself to add
to the Tribe’s lead. After Brown scored on another single by Bower and
a throwing error on a soft grounder scored Osteen and Lindemuth, the
College suddenly held a commanding 8-2 lead.

The Tribe continued its good hitting in the seventh to give its
bullpen some added insurance. White and Lowe led off the inning with
singles, and a walk by Lindemuth loaded the bases for Osteen, who
doubled to score two. Lindemuth then scored the Tribe’s final run of
the day on a wild pitch, turning the game into an 11-2 blowout.

Liberty added two runs in the eighth on two singles and one more in
the ninth on a solo home run, but never came close to catching the
College.

“We have the ability to play that way every time out,” Leoni said.
“Liberty is a real good team. To beat them twice shows that we’re
capable of playing with anyone.”

The College will now look to replicate what followed its March 8 win
over Liberty. Before that victory in Lynchburg, the Tribe was — as it
was prior to tonight’s win — in freefall, having lost 11 of its last
13 and six in a row. After it pulled out the 10-9 win over the Flames,
the team proceeded to go on a tear, rattling off 14 wins in its next
18 games.

The College will certainly need another quick turnaround, as its
three-game series with defending conference champion Virginia
Commonwealth begins tonight. With only nine conference games
remaining on the team’s schedule, the Tribe currently holds sixth
place in a conference from which only the top four will advance to the
College World Series regionals.

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