LYNCHBURG, Va. - The William and Mary baseball team snapped Liberty's nine-game winning streak on Tuesday afternoon with a 5-3 victory over the Flames at Worthington Stadium. The Tribe, who has now won seven of its last eight contests, scored all five of its runs before Liberty managed to get on the scoreboard. The win improves W&M's record to 8-4 overall, while the setback drops Liberty to 9-3 on the season.
Making his first career start, sophomore RHP J.T. Castner (1-0) was outstanding as the Williamsburg, Va., native earned his first career victory after pitching seven solid innings in which he surrendered only one earned run on just four hits and no walks. Junior John Sheehan and freshman Mitchell Aker closed out the contest in a combined two innings of relief as Aker earned his second save of the season.
At the plate, the top of W&M's order was strong all afternoon. Senior leadoff man Kevin Nutter paced the effort with a 3-for-5 performance, which included two RBIs. Senior Ryan Brown finished the contest with one hit, one RBI and a run scored, while junior Ryan Lindemuth posted a hit and a run scored. The trio combined for five hits, three RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Ryan Williams went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while sophomore Michael Katz finished the afternoon with a hit and an RBI.
The Green and Gold got off to a strong start as it plated two runs in the opening frame. With one out, Brown reached base after being belted by Liberty RHP Adam Parks. On the ensuing at bat, Lindemuth smashed a double into center field, which moved Brown to third. Brown scored the Tribe's first run of the tilt on Parks' wild pitch. With Lindemuth now on third, Katz plated the Burke, Va., native with an RBI groundout to second base.
W&M extended its lead to 3-0 with a run in the top half of the fourth. Williams led the inning off with a single to left field and later scored from third on Brown's fielder's choice RBI.
In the top of the fifth, the Green and Gold pushed across a pair of runs as its advantage swelled to 5-0. With two outs and the bases loaded, Nutter plated freshman catcher Ryan Hissey and Williams with a single to left field.
Liberty responded with a run in the bottom half as Nick Lacik's two-out single to right field drove in Alex Close.
The Flames cut the deficit to 5-3 after scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth. After Liberty plated its first run on an infield groundout, Ryan Cordell pushed across LU's second run of the inning with a double down the left field chalk.
In the bottom of the ninth and with the tying run at the plate, Aker got Lacik to fly out to center field as the Tribe preserved its eighth win of the season.