Baseball: Truxell extinguishes Flames, offense rolls

__Freshman pitcher allows only three runs over eight innings__

The Tribe went on the road Tuesday to contend with non-conference opponent Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. The Flames were extinguished as the College earned an 8-3 victory, improving their season record to 20-13.

p. The Tribe entered the game having won 10 of their last 12 match-ups and ranked second in the CAA in batting average (.321), hits (350) and runs scored (231), and first in fielding percentage (.967). Liberty brought in an 18-12 record but had won only two of its last six games.

p. Freshman starting pitcher Tyler Truxell (4-3) picked up the win for the Tribe, allowing eight hits and three runs over eight solid innings.

p. “Tyler Truxell gave us a great performance on the mound going eight strong innings,” junior Tim Park said.

p. The Tribe offense glowed as each player in the line-up registered at least one hit, finishing with a total of 17. Park, as the designated hitter, went 3-for-5 with two solo home runs, improving his team-leading home run count to nine on the season.

p. “Our offense enabled me to throw with a lead at Liberty, and our defense had an excellent game in the field. We were able to work out of a few tight spots and avoided giving Liberty a big inning the whole game,” Truxell said.

p. Park kicked off the Tribe offensive with a homer in the first. Sophomore catcher Jeff Wera recorded a single in the second and scored on a double from senior second baseman Brent McWhorter, boosting the Tribe’s lead to 2-0. The Flames pushed a run across in the third but were quieted by the Tribe defense. The College struck again with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth as junior center fielder Paul Juliano doubled with junior left fielder Greg Maliniak on first. Sophomore shortstop Lanny Stanfield registered a single to left field scoring Maliniak and moving Juliano into scoring position. Wera then reached first on a fielder’s choice as Juliano crossed the plate to extend the College’s lead to four. The Tribe scored three more times over the last three innings.

p. Liberty cut into the College’s lead in the eighth with a two-run homer, but the Tribe stopped them there. Junior Michael LaFleur took the mound in the bottom of the ninth and pitched a perfect inning to end the game.

p. “The offense put up runs nearly every inning, giving confidence to the pitching staff and allowing Mike LaFleur to come in and shut Liberty down in the ninth,” Truxell said.

p. This weekend, the Tribe will battle conference opponent Georgia State (4-5 CAA, 14-15 overall) in a three-game series at Plumeri Park. The Panthers rank seventh in batting average (.293) and first in strikeouts (190) in the CAA.

p. “This weekend we have to take it a game at a time. If we get solid pitching and timely hitting, we should have a good weekend,” Park said.


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