Area roundup: Liberty High hires new athletic director, Hillcats split doubleheader in Charleston | High school
Liberty High announced Friday that Aaron Haigler has been hired as the school’s new director of activities and athletics.
Haigler brings decades of coaching experience to the position, which was previously held by Lori Mattson. Mattson was Liberty’s AD for over a decade. A press release from LHS manager Justin Tucker announcing Haigler’s hiring gives no reason for the personnel change.
Haigler arrived in Bedford County through Southwest Virginia. Most recently, he was a teacher at Franklin County High, where he also coached baseball for the past eight seasons and helped the football team as an assistant. Prior to that, Haigler coached baseball at Patrick Henry in Roanoke for about 10 years.
The new Liberty AD has over 20 years of coaching and teaching experience, having taught at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels.
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Haigler, who is a certified firefighter and medical responder, has a bachelor’s degree from the Citadel and a master’s degree from Liberty University. He is a certified athletic administrator with the Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association, and he is a member and has held leadership positions in a handful of other state and national physical education coaching associations and baseball.
Lynchburg 9-8, Charleston 1-11
In the last drink of a doubleheader, the Charleston RiverDogs defeated Lynchburg starter Reid Johnston and replacement Franco Aleman in a five-run game in the sixth inning that ultimately gave the home side a 11-8 victory after Lynchburg won the opener 9-1 at Riley Park in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday. Both games were seven-inning affairs.
After the RiverDogs (70-36, 24-16) took a 6-2 lead, the Hillcats (53-54, 18-23) shot four runs in the fifth inning to tie the game, then took advantage of two loaded with bases walks the next inning for an 8-6 lead. It was short lived. Charleston hit both Lynchburg pitchers hard in the sixth. Johnston pitched 5⅔ innings and allowed eight runs (all earned) on nine hits, walked one, struck out six and gave up two home runs.
Aleman (1-8) took the loss, giving up three runs (all earned) on four hits in the ⅓ inning. Victor Planchart, Cesar Idrogo and Marlin Made, occupying the bottom three spots in order, all had two hits for Lynchburg.
Lynchburg knocked out the bats for the Game 1 burst, buoyed by a 3-on-3 performance from Jorge Burgos, a two-run homer from Junior Sanquintin in the third inning and a two-run outburst from Planchart in the sixth.
The Hillcats had 11 hits against three Charleston pitchers and chased starter Yonny Chirinos (four runs, six hits allowed) after three innings.
Planchart (two RBIs) and Dayan Frias added two hits for the ‘Cats. Will Dion (7-4) took the win with five solid innings of work. The southpaw allowed one run (earned) on five hits, walked one and struck out six.
In a game that ended after press time on Friday, the Hillcats beat the RiverDogs 4-2 in 11 innings. Isaiah Greene hit the go-ahead single in the top half of the frame, delivering the game-clinching shot for the second time in the series. Will Bartlett also drove a run into the 11th Friday to cap the score.
Sanquintin hit two solo home runs, in the second and seventh, and three Lynchburg pitchers combined to shut out Charleston in the final five frames.
The series finale is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. Sunday, ending Lynchburg’s 12-game road trip. The team then has the day off before starting a six-game homestand against Fredericksburg on Tuesday.