Lynchburg, Va. - The William and Mary Tribe baseball team slugged a season-high 17 hits on its way to a come-from-behind victory at Liberty on Tuesday afternoon. The Tribe's 10-9 victory over the Flames snaps the College's six-game losing skid and improves the College's record to 3-11 on the season. With the loss, Liberty falls to 5-8 on the year.
Leading the College's powerful offense was freshman Ryan Lindemuth and senior Jonathan Slattery . Lindemuth went 3-for-6 with three RBIs, while Slattery went 4-for-4 with a RBI, three runs scored and two walks. Sophomore Ryan Williams also had three hits, knocking in a run, while junior Tadd Bower , junior Sean Aiken , sophomore Kevin Nutter , and freshman Devin White also tallied a RBI on the day for the Green and Gold.
On the mound, sophomore Brett Koehler came out of the bullpen to earn his first victory of the season. Koehler pitched 3.1 innings, allowing one earned run on two hits while striking out a pair.
The College wasted little time getting on the board Tuesday afternoon, tallying a pair of runs to take an early lead over the Flames. After a hit-by-pitch and a walk, runners were on first and second for Williams. Williams slapped a single through the left side, plating senior Derrick Osteen from second. One batter later, Lindemuth hit a single through the middle of the infield, driving in Slattery from second to give the Tribe a 2-0 lead after the top of the first.
Not to be out-hit, Liberty would answer right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first to tie the ballgame. The game didn't stay even for long, however, as the College took the lead back in the second with a Slattery RBI single to left.
William and Mary added on to its lead in the third, scoring two more runs in the frame. After Lindemuth reached on an error, sophomore Jackson Shaver joined him on base with a single to center. After a wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, White drove in Lindemuth with a RBI groundout to second base. Next up for the College was Nutter, who came through with a two-out RBI infield single, giving the Green and Gold a 5-2 lead after three and a half innings.
Once again, Liberty answered at the plate. In the bottom of the third, Liberty pushed across four runs, of which only two were earned, to take its first lead of the game, 6-5.
The back and forth affair continued in the top of the fourth, as the College scored two runs to take the lead right back from the Flames. After Slattery started the frame with a single, Williams drove in his second run of the game with a double down the left-field line, tying the game at 6-6. After a groundout, Lindemuth came through with a single to center, plating Williams from second to give the College a 7-6 advantage over Liberty heading into the bottom of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Flames would reclaim the lead with two more runs, taking back the lead over the Tribe, 8-7. In both the fifth and the sixth innings, the offenses would slow down, with Liberty holding on to its one-run leaf heading into the bottom of the seventh. In the seventh, Liberty would add on to its lead, scoring one run to take a 9-7 lead after seven full.
The Tribe's offense came back to life in the top of the eighth inning, storming in from of the Flames. With one out, Slattery doubled down the left-field line to start the rally. Slattery moved to third when Williams reached base on a Liberty fielding error. Bower stepped to the plate for the Tribe and promptly singled through the left side to bring home Slattery. Bower's sixth RBI of the season cut the Liberty lead to 9-8.
With runners on the corners, the College went with a squeeze bunt, and once again the rookie Lindemuth would come through for the Green and Gold. Lindemuth laid down a great bunt to the right side, bringing home Williams from third to tie the game, 9-9. From off the bench, Aiken would blast a clutch double down the right-field line, driving home Bower to give the College the lead, 10-9.
In the bottom of the ninth, Koehler set the Flames down in order, 1-2-3. Thanks to a season-high 17 hits, the College beat Liberty on the road, 10-9. The 17 hits for the College was the most in one game since the Tribe's 20 hits in last year's season-opening, 24-0 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore.
The William and Mary Tribe baseball team will return home to Williamsburg to host the Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday, March 9. First pitch at Plumeri Park is scheduled for 4 p.m.