The Liberty Lions broke out of a season-long batting slump with 14 hits in a 15-5 win over visiting Oakland Mills yesterday in Eldersburg.
The Lions (2-7), who entered the game with a team batting average of .190 on the season, sent nine batters to the plate in a four-run first inning and ended the game with a seven-run sixth to enforce the 10-run rule.
"We hit the ball real well today," said Liberty coach Bryan Harman.
"I just told the guys to get up to the plate, relax and hit the ball hard. They were very selective and patient in finding the pitches they could hit."
Josh Gursky and Eric Priddy led the way with three hits and three runs batted in each. Doug Coppeler added a homer, single and 4 RBI.
Bob Bowman went all six innings to pick up the win, allowing six hits with five strikeouts.
Liberty got to Scorpions starting pitcher Matt Noon right from the start as it was 2-0 after the first two pitches. Mike McGinnis led off with a double and Coppeler sent the next pitch over the left-field fence for his first homer of the year.
Bowman followed with a double to left-center. An infield single by Gursky put runners on first and third, and Priddy hit a one-out single to drive in both and give the Lions their 4-0 lead.
"They just came out and hit the ball hard," said Oakland Mills coach Bill Winder.
"That's as hard as we've been hit all year long and we've played some pretty good ball clubs."
Oakland Mills (2-8) got to within two twice, but Liberty always came back with an answer.
A two-out, opposite-field single by Mike Schmitz in the top of the second scored two to cut the Liberty lead to 4-2.
The Lions got those two back in the bottom of the third when Priddy hit a low liner past short that rolled to the fence for a double and scored Mike Davidson, who had reached on an error. Chris Devins then scored Priddy with a one-out single to make it 6-2.
Oakland Mills got to within 6-4 in the fourth with a run-scoring groundout by John Vassil and a single by Jay Herdson that drove in another.
"We had the opportunity to keep it close, but made some silly plays and then came the big inning at the end," said Winder.
The Lions' seven-run sixth came off reliever Chad Fekel, who entered the game in the inning and struggled with his control from the start -- walking the first three batters he faced.
Coppeler had a two-run single, Gursky hit a bases-loaded triple and Mike Davidson ended the game with a run-scoring single up the middle off Fekel's foot.
Schmitz led the Scorpions with a pair of singles and three RBI. Jay Herdson also had two singles.