Dull (3-4) scattered seven hits and walked just one as he pitched 7.1 innings. Brian Connolly worked out of a jam in the eighth inning. He retired all five hitters he faced to earn his second save of the season.
Dull out-dueled Liberty right-hander John Niggli (7-1) as Asheville won its second Big South Conference series of the season. The loss was Niggli's first of the year though he pitched very well, allowing seven hits, striking out four and walked four. He got out of several jams as has induced the Bulldogs to hit into four double-plays.
"What a great win for us today coming off that big win yesterday," stated Asheville coach Tom Smith. "Ryan Dull was just tremendous. He pitched superbly against a very good line-up. I'm so happy for Ryan with the way he pitched this afternoon."
Cody Buch hit his second home run of the year in the third inning to give the Bulldogs (19-21, 8-9 BSC) the lead for good.
Asheville added another run in the fifth inning. Eli Miller's two-out, run-scoring double played Cody Adkins for a 2-0 Bulldog. An excellent Liberty relay from left-fielder Ian Parmley to shortstop Zack Haley to catcher Trey Wimmer was able to get Buch out at the plate to keep the Asheville lead at 2-0.
Dull was able to keep Liberty (31-12, 9-5 BSC) off balance for most of the game, especially when the Flames had runners in scoring position. Ryan Cordell had a great day at the plate for Liberty as he went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
In the Liberty fourth inning, Cordell lined a leadoff double down the left field line and moved to third on a ground out by second baseman Bryan Aanderud against Dull. But, Dull struck out the next two batters to strand Cordell.
In the Flames eighth, Liberty threatened with one out and finally got Dull out of the game. Cordell singled for his third hit of the contest. Aanderud followed with a walk to put runners on first and second, ending the day for Dull.
Connolly came on and was able to get Tyler Cox and Danny Grauer to fly out to end the inning. He was able to get the Flames out in order in the ninth.
Billy Creighton, Buch and Adkins had two hits for the Bulldogs
The teams will finish up the series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.
Asheville is 9-1 when it homers this season...Dull is 3-1 with a save all-time against Liberty...the shutout was the Flames first of the season and first time they have a lost series, non-conference or conference this year... the Bulldogs have three shutouts on the year...the win was Asheville's first this season when it scored three or less runs as the Bulldogs are now 1-13.