LYNCHBURG, Va. - With the Bulldogs clinging to a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth Liberty shortstop Matt Williams hit a two-run homer to left-centerfield to give the Flames a 3-2 win over UNC Asheville in game one of a Big South Conference series on Thursday evening at Worthington Stadium.
Ryan Dull (2-6) took a three-hit shutout into the ninth only to give up three runs on three hits including the game-winner. Dull struck out 10 batters on the night and had retired nine consecutive batters before giving up the first hit of the ninth.
With the win Liberty improves to 27-19 on the year with a 13-6 mark in the Big South. Asheville drops to 15-26 and 7-12 in league play.
Garrett Baker picked up the win in relief to improve to 6-3 on the year for the Flames.
The Bulldogs tallied nine hits in the game, including a 4-for-5 performance by first baseman and leadoff batter Jordan Lurie. All-in-all Asheville stranded nine runners on the night.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the top of the third plating a run on a Danny Baatz double to right-center. Grant Gajdosz drove in a run one batter late to give Asheville a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the frame.
Leadoff batter Ian Parmley singled to short to start the ninth for the Flames. Parmley then advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt by Dull at first and was driven home on a Michael Robertson double down the leftfield line.
With Robertson on second and nobody out, Williams would hit his dinger to left-center to lift Liberty over the Blue & White, taking a 1-0 series lead in the process.
The two teams will take Friday off before playing a doubleheader on Saturday at Worthington Stadium. First pitch in game one of the twin bill is set for 1 p.m.