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Flames Baseball Opens 2013 at No. 5 South Carolina
LIBERTY AT NO. 5 SOUTH CAROLINA
Carolina Stadium (9,000)
Friday - 3 p.m.
Saturday - 1:30 p.m.
Sunday - 1:30 p.m.
Complete Baseball Game Notes
Coverage by the Flames Sports Network
Radio Broadcast: Friday & Sunday
The Light (90.9 FM WWMC)
• South Carolina has played in the NCAA Championship each of the last three years. The Gamecocks were the 2010 and 2011 champions, while being the national runner-ups last season.
• The last three times the Flames and Gamecocks have met, South Carolina has either been ranked No.1 or No. 2 in the nation. In 2000, the Gamecocks were No. 1 when the two teams met in the NCAA Columbia Regional. In 2007, South Carolina was No. 1 when the two squads met at the Crab House Shootout in February in Charleston, S.C., and in 2011, the No. 2 Gamecocks hosted the Flames.
• Liberty head coach Jim Toman was an assistant coach for former South Carolina head coach Ray Tanner for 11 years from 1997-2007.
• Liberty has been selected to finish on top in the Big South Conference's North Division standings by the conference's head coaches in the league's annual preseason poll.
• Friday's contest will be the 40th season opener in program history. Liberty enters the season lid-lifter having recorded a 25-12 mark in campaign openers since 1976. Under head coach Jim Toman, the Flames are 3-2.
• Liberty is 82-38 (.683) all-time in the month of February. The Flames are 26-9 (.745) under head coach Jim Toman. Last season, Liberty jumped out to a 9-1 start in the month of Feb.
• The Flames hold a 3-16 record all-time against members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
• Liberty will christen a new facility next weekend. The Liberty Baseball Stadium will have 2,500 chairback seats, a turf playing field, an operations center for the baseball program and a fully functional press area, when completed in June.
Player Quick Hits
• 1B Alex Close was named the 2012 Big South Player of the Year and was selected a Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Freshman All-American.
• Close led the Big South with 14 home runs, setting a conference and Big South record for round trippers by a freshman.
• 2B Bryan Aanderud was named to the Big South All-Conference second team in his first season with the Flames after transferring from Cypress.
• Aanderud finished 2012, third in the conference in batting average (.368), hits (81), RBIs (53) and on base percentage (.471). The 2B led Liberty in batting average, hits, RBIs, and on base percentage.
• After taking over the catching duties, C Trey Wimmer threw out 23 would-be base stealers in 2012. The C was named to the Big South All-Tournament team, driving in a team-high six runs and hitting a walk-off home run against Gardner-Webb to advance the Flames to the championship game.
• OF Ryan Cordell was named the top prospect in the Great Lakes League this summer by Baseball America.
• 3B Dalton Sype started 56 games at third base in 2012. Sype hit .349 over his last 25 games to finish the year with a .297 batting average.
• RHP Brooks Roy moved from the bullpen to a starter at the beginning of April in 2012. In his first season with the Flames, Roy recorded a win in each of his first three appearances as a reliever on the way to posting a 4-0 mark with a 2.49 ERA.
• RHP Carson Herndon split time between starting and relief in his freshman season with the Flames. Herndon recorded his first collegiate victory in his first start at Liberty with five scoreless innings against James Madison on March 14, facing one more batter than the minimum 15.
• Herndon appeared in 13 games, with seven starts. He posted a 3-1 record and a 4.60 ERA.
• RHP Patrick Bankemper led Liberty with 26 appearances, all in relief during his fi rst year with the
• LHP Jared Lyons made 24 appearances in his freshman season with the Flames, the second most by a Liberty pitcher in 2012. He posted a 3.04 ERA and a 3-4 record
• Friday's contest at South Carolina will be the 40th season opener in program history. Liberty enters the season lid-lifter having recorded a 25-12 mark in campaign openers since 1976.
• Last season, Liberty shut out Richmond, 12-0, at the Citadel Challenge to begin the 2012 season.
• The Flames are 3-2 in season openers under head coach Jim Toman. Two of three Liberty victories came on neutral fields.