Lynchburg, Va. – Left-hander Trevor Delaite pitched his second complete game shutout of the season, leading the Liberty Flames past the Kennesaw State Owls 4-0 in the opener of a key three-game ASUN series, Friday at Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium.
Delaite outdueled Owls left-hander Jake Rice, who had not lost this season, registering his third complete game of 2021. Delaite, 8-1, allowed Kennesaw State five hits over the nine innings, striking out five and walking two.
Liberty took advantage of two errors by the Owls in the fifth inning to take a 2-0 lead and added to its advantage in the sixth on a two-out, two-run double by center fielder Jaylen Guy.
The Flames move to 15-1 in the ASUN Conference and 31-11 overall. Liberty has won 11 straight ASUN contests. The Owls fall to 12-4 in the ASUN and 26-15 overall.
Box Score Highlights
Records: Kennesaw State (26-15; 12-4 ASUN); Liberty (31-11, 15-1 ASUN)
Location: Lynchburg, Va. (Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium)
WP: Trevor Delaite (8-1) | LP: Jake Rice (8-1)
LIBERTY – 5th INNING – Anderson reaches on fielding error, Guy and Gulakowski score, 2-0
LIBERTY – 6th INNING – Guy doubles, Mathieu and Wilson score, 4-0
Each team had five hits apiece. Kennesaw State made two costly errors.
Runners were at a premium in the contest. Liberty left eight men on base, while Kennesaw State left seven men on base.
The Flames scored all four of their runs with two outs.
Delaite allowed just two hits over the final eight innings. He retired 12 Owls in a row from the second through the fifth innings.
Kennesaw State’s Rice gave up four runs, two earned, over 5 2/3 innings in losing for the first time this season. He gave up five hits. He struck out four and walked four batters.
Owls designated hitter Nick Hassan was the only player in the contest with two hits.
After Delaite stranded an Owl at third base with one out in the top of the sixth inning to preserve a 2-0 advantage, center fielder Guy gave the Liberty left-hander a larger lead to work with during the bottom of the inning. Right fielder Jake Wilson walked to open the home half of the six and stole second base. Two batters later, Wilson moved to third on a ground out by designated hitter Brady Gulakowski.
Flames first baseman Logan Mathieu was then intentionally walked, putting runners on the corners with two out. Guy followed by lining a double into he left field corner to plate both runners and give Liberty a 4-0 lead.
Beyond the Box Score
Liberty entered the weekend two games ahead of Kennesaw State in the ASUN North Division standings. Including this evening’s contest, the Flames and Owls are scheduled to meet six times over the next two weekends.
With its win, Liberty moves to 20-2 at Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium. The Flames have won 20 or more games in six of their nine seasons at the facility since it opened in 2013.
Liberty has scored 19 of its last 21 runs with two outs.
Delaite becomes the first Liberty pitcher to throw two shutouts in a season since Jared Lyons pitched two in 2015. The left-hander moves into a tie for the ASUN Conference lead with eight wins and currently leads the conference in innings pitched with 75.
Aaron Anderson singled in the game to up his hitting streak to seven games, a season-high for the Liberty left fielder.
Flames right fielder Jake Wilson singled in the fourth and walked and scored a run in the sixth inning. He has reached base safely in 19 consecutive games, a season-high for Wilson.
Kennesaw State and Liberty will meet again at Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.