The Runnin' Bulldogs (15-10, 1-2 Big South) scored single runs in the second, fifth and sixth innings to go up 3-0, but saw the Flames (23-4, 5-1 Big South) plate four runs in the bottom half of the sixth to take a 4-3 lead.
Liberty saw its seven game win streak snapped, but made the game interesting with its sixth-inning outburst. Two hit batters to start the inning and a single back to the pitcher loaded the bases, and a walk plated the Flames' first run of the game. A fielder's choice RBI followed to trim Gardner-Webb's lead to 3-2 and Liberty tied the score on a wild pitch. A squeeze bunt by Trey Wimmer drove home the go-ahead run for the Flames, before Jeff Howell could get out of the jam with an infield pop up.
Scott Coleman sparked Gardner-Webb's game-winning rally in the eighth, lacing a single through the left side to lead off the inning. Ryan Hodge followed with a single through the right side to move Coleman to third – and Brad Collins walked to load the bases.
Izokovic ran into trouble in the bottom of the eighth, issuing a walk, hitting a batter and loading the bases with one out on an intentional walk – but struck out Wimmer and got a ground ball to third base to end the inning with his team still in front.
Gardner-Webb went down in order in the top of the ninth, and - after Ian Parmley poked a one-out single for the Flames - Izokovic rolled a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.
The Runnin' Bulldogs outhit Liberty 14-4, with Gardner-Webb starter Beau Hilton limiting the Flames to just two runs and two hits through 5.0 innings in a no decision. Izokovic (3-0) pitched 3.0 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, and struck out three.
All of Gardner-Webb's starters collected at least one hit in the game, with Coleman (3-for-4, 2B, 2 runs) and Hodge (3-for-4, 2 runs) leading the way. Dusty Quattlebaum (2-for-5, RBI) also had a strong afternoon at the plate.
Liberty reliever Carson Herndon (2-1) took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits in 2.2 innings of work. Gardner-Webb peppered starter Jacob Kemmerer for eight hits, but managed just two runs in his 4.1 innings.
Four different Liberty players had one of the team's four hits - all singles. The Flames drew six walks, however, and were plunked three times.
Gardner-Webb gets back to action on Wednesday, traveling to face USC Upstate at 6:00 pm in Spartanburg, S.C.