RIVERDALE, N.Y. - The Manhattan baseball team suffered an 8-4 loss to Liberty (12-4) on Friday at Worthington Stadium in Lynchburg, Va. Junior first baseman Austin Sheffield led the Jaspers offense going 3-for-5 from the plate with a home run and two RBI. Mike McCann also had two RBI, while freshman starting pitcher Eric Luksis received the loss for Manhattan (8-5).
Liberty senior starter Shawn Teufel pitched seven solid innings yielding just one run and notching five strikeouts. The Flames posted the first two runs of the ballgame beginning with junior Austin Taylor's solo home run in the second inning. In the third inning, senior catcher Nathan Thompson singled in outfielder Curran Redal who doubled to lead off the frame.
Manhattan got on the scoreboard in the fourth with Sheffield's first home run of the year to bring the Jaspers within 2-1. Liberty responded with one run in the fifth, and then broke open the contest with a four run seventh inning, all coming at the expense of Luksis. Luksis lasted 5 1/3 innings on the hill and posted four strikeouts in his third loss of the year.
The Flames extended their advantage to 8-1 with sophomore shortstop Matt Williams RBI double down the left field line in the seventh. Manhattan mounted a comeback attempt in the ninth inning rallying for three runs off Liberty relief pitcher Zane Bator. Sheffield got it started with bases loaded RBI single, and then McCann doubled down the right field line for the next two runs.
Jaspers' senior right-hander Zac Goyer was a highlight out of the bullpen. The product of Grafton, N.Y. pitched a scoreless eighth inning allowing just one hit.
The Jaspers and Flames take the field for the second contest of the three game set on Saturday at 1 p.m.