LYNCHBURG, Va. – Third baseman Tyler Galazin's two-out home run in the 10th inning propelled the No. 3 seed Liberty Flames past the No. 6 Radford Highlanders, 3-2, Thursday afternoon in Game 9 of the 2018 Big South Baseball Championship at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
With two out in the 10th and behind in the count, 0-2, Galazin lined his fourth home run of the season into the left field bullpen for the 3-2, walk-off win.
Liberty raises its record to 31-25 overall and advances to face No. 1 seed Campbell tomorrow at 10 a.m. Liberty will need to force a second game later on Friday to advance to Saturday's final with a win, while Campbell moves into the final with just a single victory. Radford's season comes to a close at 25-32.
Hits were at a premium over the first seven innings. The two teams managed three hits combined, as Liberty had two and Radford managed just one.
The Flames converted their first hit into the first run of the contest in the second inning. Shortstop Cam Locklear lined a double inside the third base bag and into the left field corner to open the inning. After moving to third on a ground out to second base by left fielder Ayden Karraker, Locklear scored on a sacrifice bunt by first baseman Dylan Allen for a 1-0 edge.
After being held scoreless through the first four innings, Radford cashed in a walk to knot the game at 1-1. Right fielder Adam Szamski drew the base on balls, leading off the inning. Szamski advanced to second and third on wild pitches. Two batters later, left fielder Garrett Matheny chopped a grounder to the shortstop, plating Szamski and tying the game at 1-1.
The Highlanders pushed across a run in the sixth inning without a hit. Shortstop Luke Belanger walked to open the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Belanger moved to third on a grounder by second baseman Kyle Butler with one out. Belanger then scored on a wild pitch for 2-1.
Liberty tied the game in the eighth inning. Right fielder Brandon Rohrer reached when Highlander reliever Austin Gerber dropped first baseman Spencer Horwitz's throw on a grounder behind the bag to open the inning. Second baseman Ben Highfill followed with a single, moving Rohrer to third. Two batters later, catcher Jonathan Embry lined a one-out single into left field to bring home Rohrer to knot the game at 2-2.