DELAND, Fla. - With a 6-3 victory vs. No. 6 Stetson, second-seeded Liberty forced a second championship final game in the ASUN Conference Baseball Championship tomorrow afternoon with the winner of the game raising the ASUN title and clinching a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
The Flames took an early 2-0 lead in the third inning after Jaylen Guy's sacrifice bunt attempt went past the man covering first base and into the outfield, resulting in runners on second and third with no one out. Next up was Gray Betts who stroked a single that brought home the first run, followed later by a sac fly from Cam Locklear to push the lead to a pair a third of the way into the contest.
Liberty starter Noah Skirrow got through three innings before giving way to Logan Barker. The pair combined for seven innings of one-run ball, allowing the only score for Stetson in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly for Kyle Ball that went to right field. During their time on the mound, Liberty added four more runs in the sixth to make the score read 5-1 and begin to shape what was a likely Sunday contest for the title.
The action got a bit closer in the eighth inning as Stetson slugger Eric Foggo crushed a two-run home run for his first of the Championship, this one over the right-center field wall as the strong winds in DeLand were not enough to keep that one in the yard. That was all the scoring for Stetson in the latter part of the game though as Cole Garrett came on in relief to close out the save in the ninth inning, the first of the season and career for the Georgia native.
With the result, a final contest is now scheduled for 1 PM ET on Sunday with live coverage available via ESPN+. With a few days rest for some arms and very few used in the first game, a pitcher's duel might be expected as each team looks to seal their fate in the NCAA Tournament while Liberty looks for its first ASUN title and Stetson its' second-straight.
Liberty vs. Stetson Game Notes
- Three of the six runs scored in the contest by Liberty came via a bases-loaded walk; Ben Highfill, Jonathan Embry and Cam Locklear drew the free passes
- The result creates the first game 11 of the ASUN Championship since the 2017 postseason; FGCU defeated Jacksonville in that game 3-1
- Liberty pitching induced two double plays in the game, the only ones of the contest; The Flames had a 7:10 groundout:flyout ratio as well
- The loss for Stetson marks the first in a Final game in the ASUN Championship since 2003; The Hatters had won four games in a row in the Final Round