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Liberty to Host Army in Weekend Series
The Liberty Flames (6-3, 0-0 Big South) will host the Army Black Knights (2-5, 0-0 Patriot) in a three-game weekend series at Worthington Stadium, March 7-9. The first game of the series is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday. Single games on Saturday and Sunday will start at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively.
Liberty will be looking to get back into the win column after dropping two contests this week. Flames Assistant Coach Nick Schnabel coached at Army for two seasons, before joining head coach Jim Toman's staff at Liberty this past summer.
All-Time Series Against Army
Friday will be the third meeting all-time on the diamond between the Flames and the Black Knights, but the first since 1987.
Liberty and the U.S. Military Academy split a pair of games during the 1987 Florida International Tournament. The Black Knights took the first meeting, 5-3, on March 7, 1987, while the Flames came back four days later to post a 5-2 victory.
The Last Time Out
The Old Dominion Monarchs erased a 6-4 Liberty advantage with three runs in the seventh inning and two more in the eighth for a 9-7 win over the Flames, Wednesday afternoon, at Worthington Stadium.
Third baseman Cody Brown went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored for Liberty. Center fielder Kenneth Negron also added three hits and drove in a run, as the Flames had 14 hits in the contest.
Freshman left-hander Steven Evans took the loss in his first start in a Liberty uniform.
Following the Flames
This season, the Flames Sports Network plans to broadcast 19 Liberty baseball regular season games. Games will air live on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light" and on the World Wide Web at both LibertyFlames.com and thelightonline.com.
The station plans to carry both the Saturday and Sunday contests between the Flames and the Black Knights this weekend, with the broadcasts beginning at 1:50 p.m. on Saturday and 12:50 p.m. on Sunday.
In addition, live stats are available for each Liberty contest through LibertyFlames.com.
A Look at the Black Knights
Army comes into Friday's contest with a 2-5 record in 2008. The Black Knights went 2-1 last weekend at UMBC, defeating the Retrievers, 4-3 and 23-0, while dropping the middle contest of the series, 8-4.
Army has been playing without standout Cole White. The senior was named to the 2008 National Collegiate Baseball Writers Assocation Preseason All-America team as a utility player. This past week, the pitcher/outfielder was named to the preliminary watch list for the fifth annual Roger Clemens Award given to college baseball's top pitcher. Last season, he batted .408 in being named Patriot League Player of the Year. Unfortunately for the Army, he has not seen action in the early going due to injury.
In the early going, the Black Knights have been paced at the plate by lead off hitter Andy Ernesto. The center fielder has hit .400 with four RBIs and four runs scored. Freshman left fielder Mike Greco leads Army with seven RBIs and two home runs. On the mound, Ben Koenigfeld and and Drew Clothier each sport a 1-1 mark.
Last season, Army went 25-23-1 overall, falling in the Patriot League title game to Lafayette.
Flames at Worthington Stadium
For the past 28 years, the Flames have called Worthington Stadium their home. The Flames have compiled an impressive 478-216-4 record at the facility for a winning percentage of .689 since the stadium's inception in 1979.
This year, the Flames are slated to play 28 home games at the stadium. After falling to Old Dominion in a mid-week contest at the facility, Liberty has begun its home schedule, 2-2.
The slate of 28 games is tentatively scheduled to include the first night contests in the history of the stadium this season. The lights at the facility are to be installed by March 28, with 10 contests currently scheduled to be played under the lights.
Last season, Liberty went 23-9 at Worthington. The 23 wins tie for the third most by the Flames in a year at the facility.
Flames by the Month
The Flames played five contests during the month of February in 2008, with the inception of the common starting date for college baseball. For the first time this season, NCAA Division I programs could not begin competition until Feb. 22. Liberty went unbeaten during the month, posting a 5-0 mark to open the 2008 campaign
Last season, Liberty started the 2007 campaign by posting a 7-3 mark in February, while in 2006, Liberty started 7-2. The Flames have been successful in the month with a mark of 69-29 since 1976. It is the third-straight season the Flames have had a strong opening month.
The Flames are 1-3 so far in March. Liberty will play 18 contests in the third month of the year and begin Big South Conference play during the last weekend of the month by hosting Coastal Carolina (March 28-30). Last season, Liberty posted a 10-9 record in March and began Big South play with a 3-3 record. Since 1978, the Flames have posted a record of 316-246-2 in the month of March.
Fast Start For Bream
Freshman Doug Bream has gotten off to a fast start at the plate for Liberty in his first season of collegiate baseball. The Flame left fielder leads the Liberty with a .500 batting average, 15 hits and nine RBIs over the first nine contests of the year. He has already posted five multi-hit games and three multi-RBI contests this season
Last week, the Liberty newcomer hit .600 and drove in seven runs in four games. Bream capped off the week with a 4-for-5 afternoon and two RBIs on Sunday against Rider.