DELAND, Fla. - Behind a big sixth inning that helped the team take a 5-2 lead, No. 2 Liberty defeated No. 4 Jacksonville and now moves on to the ASUN Conference Baseball Championship Final where they meet No. 6 and undefeated Stetson, the reigning champions.
Falling down 2-0 in the fifth inning after Jacksonville had Cory Heffron single in a pair of runs, Liberty came to the plate in the bottom of the sixth and quickly got runners to second and third with none out looking to strike. Gray Betts, Logan Mathieu and Will Wagner each connected on RBI base knocks on three of the next four plate appearances to give the Flames a 3-2 lead with runners still on base. Tyler Galazin and Cam Locklear then each stroked RBI singles to push the lead to 5-2.
Landon Riley relieved starter and normal relief pitcher Garret Price in the fifth and shut down the JU offense the rest of the way to elevate the Flames to a win. The sophomore righty allowed only three hits over his 4.1 innings of work, striking out two hitters while walking none. Riley worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, retiring the heart of the JU lineup with Jaylen Guy catching a line drive to center field to end the contest.
Liberty now becomes the first and only ASUN team this season to eclipse 40 wins on the year, standing at 40-19 heading into the ASUN Final. The Flames face defending champion Stetson at 3 PM ET, streamed live on ESPN+. During the regular season, Liberty took two-of-three games in the series with it being played in Lynchburg.
Liberty vs. Jacksonville Game Notes
- Liberty's matchup with Stetson becomes the first 6 vs. 2 contest in the Final since 2003 when #6 Jacksonville beat #2 Stetson
- After collecting the winning hit last night, Will Wagner pushed across the go-ahead run for Liberty in the sixth inning to make the score 3-2
- The Flames have a chance to become the first team since UCF in 1993 to win the ASUN Championship title in its first year within the league
- Jacksonville's season comes to an end at 32-27 after advancing to the ASUN Semifinal for the third-straight season