In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Liberty sophomore Mason Meyer took a shutout into the seventh inning, Jonathan Embry got the offense going with a two-run home run in the first inning, and the Flames opened the Chapel Hill Regional with a 6-1 victory over Tennessee early Saturday morning at Boshamer Stadium.
The Flames (43-19) advance to the winner’s bracket and are scheduled to face region host and No. 14 overall seed North Carolina (43-17) at a time to be determined Saturday afternoon. The Tar Heels won a thriller over UNC Wilmington, 7-6, in a game that was delayed by weather in the bottom of the ninth inning.
UT (38-20) plays UNCW (32-30) at noon in an elimination game.
The victory allowed Liberty to tie the program record for single-season wins set in 2010.
Meyer (6-4), who suffered the loss against the Volunteers in a Feb. 26 matchup in Knoxville, Tennessee, handcuffed UT for 6 1/3 effective innings. The southpaw allowed one earned run — a leadoff home run from Evan Russell in the seventh inning — on five hits. He walked one, struck out one and threw 51 of his 87 pitches for strikes.
Tennessee loaded the bases in the first inning, but Meyer was able to escape the jam and didn’t allow a base runner to advance into scoring position until the seventh.
Garret Price allowed one hit, walked one and struck out three in 2 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Embry hit his 11th homer of the season to put Liberty ahead 2-0 in the first inning.
Tyler Galazin doubled in Logan Mathieu in the third to extend the lead to 3-0.
Jaylen Guy’s single to left in the sixth advanced Brandon Rohrer to third, but a wild throw allowed Rohrer to score. The Flames tacked on two more runs in the seventh on Rohrer’s single to center.
Rohrer went 3 for 5, and Guy, Will Wagner and Gray Betts each had two hits.
UT starter Garrett Stallings (8-5) took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three and did not walk any batters.