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Liberty to Host Presbyterian College
The Liberty Flames (17-16, 7-5 Big South) host the Presbyterian College Blue Hose (18-16, 4-8) in a three-game Big South series at Worthington Stadium, Friday-Sunday. The series will open on Friday under the lights. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, first pitch is slated for 3 p.m., while the final game of the series is scheduled for 1 p.m., Sunday.
Last Time Out
Down by two runs, the Liberty Flames erupted for seven runs in the ninth inning for a 14-9 victory over the High Point Panthers, Sunday afternoon, in a Big South Conference contest at Coy O. Willard Stadium. With the win, the Flames took the weekend series.
Trailing 9-7, Liberty pounced on High Point relief pitching, batting around in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead. The Flames scored seven runs on seven hits and an error to erase the host team's edge.
Liberty had 19 hits in the game. For the second consecutive day, outfielder Doug Bream had four hits to lead all players in the contest. The Liberty left fielder hit .643 during the three-game series against the Panthers. Center fielder Ian Parmley, right fielder Michael Robertson and shortstop Matt Williams each had three hits apiece for the Flames.
Reliever Mark Swanson evened his record at 1-1 on the year. After entering the contest with runners on second and third base and no one out in the sixth, the senior right-hander kept the Flames close, pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Tuesday, the Flames will travel across the state and visit the College of William & Mary. Game time at Plumeri Park is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Following the Flames
All three games this weekend will be video streamed LIVE. The feed will be available for a nominal fee on the Big South Network. The video stream will also be available on the World Wide Web at both LibertyFlames.com. In additon, an online audio stream will be available on the World Wide Web at LibertyFlames.com for each contest. Nick Pierce will handle play-by-play duties and former Flames pitcher Doug Wallace will provide commentary for the games. Saturday's and Sunday's games may also be heard LIVE on WWMC 90.9 FM radio.
The Flames are 2-5 in the month of April. Liberty is scheduled to play 16 games in the month, with 12 coming against Big South opponents.
Since 1976, the Flames have recorded an all-time mark of 347-290-1 (.545) in April. Last season, Liberty finished the month of April with a 10-8 record. The Flames posted a 9-3 mark in Big South Conference play.
Home Sweet Home
For the past 32 years, the Flames have called Worthington Stadium home. It is named for program architect and the first Liberty head baseball coach, Al Worthington. Liberty has compiled an impressive 531-243-5 record at the stadium for a winning percentage of .686 since the facility's inception in 1979.
The Flames are 7-5 on the year at Worthington Stadium. Liberty posted a 19-9 record at home in 2010. The Flames are 57-29-1 at home under four-year head coach Jim Toman's guidance.
Doug Bream Receives National, Conference Honors
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) named Liberty senior outfielder Doug Bream and Clemson junior shortstop Brad Miller National Co-Hitters of the Week, Tuesday. The Flames outfielder was also selected the Southeast Regional Player of the Week by CollegeBaseballInsider.com, as well as the Big South Player of the Week for games played through April 10.
Bream batted .737 (14-19) with six runs scored, eight RBIs, two doubles, one triple and two walks in four games last week. The senior had four or more hits in three of the games, including a 5-5 day in a midweek contest with James Madison. He finished the week with a .762 on-base percentage and a .947 slugging percentage.
After picking up a hit and RBI Friday at High Point, Bream had four hits in each of Liberty's weekend wins over the Panthers. The outfielder went 4-for-5 and drove in four runs in Saturday's 9-0 win and was 4-for-5 with a double and three RBIs in Liberty's 14-9 victory on Sunday.
Doing the Dougie
On April 6, outfielder Doug Bream had a career-high five hits in a 16-12 setback at Worthington Stadium. Bream surpassed his previous career-high of four hits in a 12-7 win over James Madison at Worthington Stadium on April 21, 2010. It is the first time a Liberty Flame has had five hits in game since outfielder Curran Redal in a 14-8 victory over High Point in game one of a Big South Conference doubleheader at Worthington Stadium on April 3, 2010. Bream went 5-for-5 in the contest and scored three runs.
Later in the week, the senior had two four-hit games in victories at High Point to close the week with a .737 batting average. With three multiple-hit games on the week, Bream is tied with shortstop Matt Williams with the team lead with 15 mult-hit contests.
The outfielder's hot hitting week increased Bream's season batting average 60 points to .365. He leads the Flames in RBIs with 31 and hits with 50. The senior also leds the team with 10 mulitple-RBI games.
Tyler Bream and Williams Move into Career 2Bs List
With a double each during Liberty's 14-9 victory at High Point Sunday, junior third baseman Tyler Bream and shortstop Matt Williams moved into the Top 10 on the school's career doubles list with 45 apiece. The duo is tied for 10th place on the all-time list with 45 career doubles. Liberty standouts Jason Benham (1995-98) and Michael Just (2003-06) are next on the list with 46 two-base hits.
Former Liberty outfielder Phillip Laurent (2003-06) holds the school career record for two-base hits with 68. He also set the single season record with 27 in 2006.
Last season, Bream and Williams each hit 22 doubles, the second-highest total on the school's single season list. Williams is currently tied with outfielder Doug Bream for the team lead with 11 two-base hits in 2011.
Evans Pitches Way into Record Book
With 47 strikeouts on the year, senior left-hander Steven Evans has moved into fourth place on Liberty's all-time strikeout list with 232. He enters the weekend nine strikeouts short of matching former Liberty left-hander David Bechtold (2002-05), who had 241, for third place on the career list. Mike Brown (1994-97) is Liberty's career strikeout leader with 287. Evans is currently third in the Big South with 47 strikeouts this season.
Evans is also tied for fifth on the program's career wins list with 22. The senior, who has a career record of 22-10, is tied with Niles Creekmore (1983-86), Alex Dooley (1999-02) and Michael Solbach (2005-07) on the all-time list. Liberty standout Lee Guetterman (1978-81) won 29 games during his career to top the Liberty all-time wins list.
In addition, the senior has moved into the Liberty career innings pitched list's Top 10 with 270 1/3 innings. Evans begins the weekend 10th on the program's all-time list.
A fixture of the Flames' pitching staff over the past four years, Evans has a 22-10 career record with a 3.76 ERA. The left-hander has walked 88 batters for a 2.7 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio during his career.
It is What I Like About Sunday
Liberty has opened the year 5-1 in games played on Sunday, and in its lone loss, it was defeated 5-4. In Sunday games, the Flames have outscored their opponents, 39-21, and have a .296 batting average compared to a .230 for their opponents.
Led by starter Steven Evans, who has recorded two wins this season on Sunday, Liberty pitchers have posted a 3.40 ERA in the six games.
Outfielders Ian Parmley and Michael Robertson, along with shortstop Matt Williams have also made the most of Sunday play. Parmley has a .500 batting average, with seven hits in 14 at bats. Robertson has hit .450 with seven RBIs and six runs scored. The junior has hit both of his home runs this season on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Williams, who leads the Flames with a .371 batting average, has hit .423 on the first day of the week. The shortstop has collected 11 hits, including three doubles. Williams has five RBIs and scored four runs in his six Sunday games.
Liberty right-hander John Niggli held High Point in check over eight innings, as the Flames downed the Panthers, 9-0, last Saturday afternoon in a Big South contest at Coy O. Willard Stadium.
Niggli was in control throughout the first eight innings of the contest, scattering three hits. He allowed only two High Point runners to move into scoring position throughout his time on the mound, before giving way to relief pitcher Jacob Kemmerer. The right-hander struck out two batters and walked one, running his record to 4-2 on the year. After allowing a hit to the leadoff batter in the fourth inning, he did not allow another hit until two outs into his final inning, the eighth.
Niggli and Kemmerer combined to pitch the second shutout by the Flames pitching stafff this season.
The junior right-hander enters the weekend fifth in the Big South Conference with a 2.66 ERA over 50 2/3 innings. Niggli is holding opposing hitters to a .219 batting average.