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Liberty Makes First Visit to Presbyterian
The Liberty Flames (26-11, 9-3 Big South) make their first-ever visit to Clinton, S.C., to face the Presbyterian College Blue Hose (11-24, 3-9 Big South) for a three-game Big South Conference series, Friday-Sunday at PC Baseball Complex. The series opens Friday at 3 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. start time on Saturday. The final contest of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m.
Last Time Out
Doug Bream drove in four runs with four hits and the Liberty Flames posted two five-run innings, to slug their way past the James Madison Dukes, 12-7, Wednesday in a non-conference contest at Worthington Stadium. Liberty's victory snapped an eight-game losing skid against the Dukes by the Flames.
Tyler Bream and Kenneth Negron each had three hits in the contest for Liberty, which had 16 total hits on the afternoon. Of Doug Bream's four hits, one was his second home run of the season.
The Flames plated five-runs in both the second and sixth innings in the contest.
Five Liberty pitchers took to the mound in the contest, with Dane Beakler, the third pitcher of the game for the Flames, picking up the win to run his record to 3-2 on the season. Right-hander Carter Browning worked the final 3 1/3 innings to earn his first save of the year.
Liberty will continue on the road by traveling to Elon, N.C., for a contest with the Elon Phoenix.
Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Flames on the Air
Only live stats courtesy of the Presbyterian College Media Relations department are available for this weekend's games. The next Liberty radio broadcast will be Tuesday evening when the Flames sqaure off with the Elon Phoenix in Elon, N.C. The broadcast may be heard LIVE on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light." It will also be available on the World Wide web at both LibertyFlames.com and thelightonline.com.
Liberty Head Coach Jim Toman has the Flames out to their best record during his three year tenure. During his first two seasons, he guided the Flames to 68 wins, the most during the first two years under any head coach in program history, and best winning percentage (.591) over the same span.
Last season, Liberty posted the most victories in Big South Conference play with a 17-9 mark, since joining the conference in 1992. The Flames recorded an overall record of 33-21 in Toman's second year.
A 21-year member of the college coaching ranks, he served 18 years as a member of Ray Tanner's staffs at South Carolina and N.C. State. Toman was named the 2002 Baseball America/American Baseball Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year and recruited 15 top 25 classes, including all 11 of his seasons at South Carolina. From 2003-2006, three of the four Gamecock recruiting classes were ranked first in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
Elton Pollock, a 1995 graduate of Presbyterian College, is in his sixth season as head coach of the Blue Hose baseball program and has been in charge of the team's transition to the NCAA Division I level.
After a 13-38 record in 2009, Pollack's career record at his alma mater is 91-217. In 2008 under Pollock, the initial NCAA Division I campaign for the Blue Hose, the team completed the year with 13 wins, which included the program's first DI series win over Marist. The program also experienced monumental wins over UAB and Charlotte, who at the time was undefeated and nationally ranked.
In 2007, Pollock, a standout in both football and baseball at Presbyterian from 1992-95, and the Blue Hose finished their final NCAA Division II season with their highest winning percentage under his guidance.
Scouting the Blue Hose
Presbyterian College will travel to Furman tonight, before meeting the Flames tomorrow afternoon. The Blue Hose won two of its three games against Charleston Southern last weekend in a Big South series.
As a team, Presbyterian is hitting .256 and averaging 5.3 runs per game. Outfielder Gabe Grammer leads the Blue Hose with a .317 batting average. Outfielder Mack Hite is second on the team with a 303 average. They are the only Presbyterian players with averages above .300.
The Blue Hose pitching staff enters their Thursday game at Furman with a 7.82 ERA. Opponents are hitting . 338 against Presbyterian pitchers.
Friday's starter Joe Hammon will be looking for his first win of the year. He enters the start with a 0-4 record and a 5.40 ERA. Jesse Harmon, Saturday's starter, is 2-5 with a 6.75 ERA. He has struck out a team-leading 49 batters and has walked 14.
Chris Powell, Rodney Scruggs and Jordan Pace have been the workhorses out of the Presbyterian bullpen. Powell has a 5-1 record with a 3.47 ERA in 14 appearances. He has worked 36 1/3 innings. Scruggs has made 18 appearances posting a 6.08 ERA. Pace leads the Blue Hose in appearances, having made 19. He has a 1-2 record with a save and a 8.72 ERA
The Flames have posted a 10-3 record, including a 8-1 Big South mark, so far during the month of April. Liberty is scheduled to play 18 games during the month.
Last season, the Flames finished the month of April with a 10-8 record. Liberty posted a 9-3 mark in Big South Conference play. Since 1976, the Flames have recorded an all-time mark of 341-284-1 (.546) in April.
Flames on the Road
Propelled by a five-game road winning streak, the Flames have posted a 10-5 mark on the road this season. Liberty's five-game win streak is currently tied for the fourth longest in the country. The Flames are also 2-0 in contests on neutral fields.
Head Coach Jim Toman's team finished 2009 with a 11-13 final road ledger. The Flames also compiled a 3-3 record on neutral fields.
What's Up with Fridays
After its come-from-behind victory over No. 26 VMI, last Friday, the Flames are 8-1 in Friday night contests. Liberty has also won eight games on Saturday (8-3).
Bats Power Recent Success
The Flames have won 13 out of their last 16 games to post a .813 winning percentage.
Fueling the surge, which started on March 27, are the Liberty bats. The Flames have hit .348 as a team during the span, raising their team average 22 points during the period from .299 to .321.
Over the 16 games, four Flames have hit better than .400, led by outfielder Curran Redal who has hit .471 during the stretch, with 33 hits to raise his batting average to a team-leading .393. He has had nine multi-hit games, including a five and a four hit game during the stretch.
Second baseman P.J. Jimenez has hit .443 over the span, while outfielder Michael Robertson has posted a .415 average. Robertson also has scored 18 times, the most of any Flames during the span.
Left fielder Doug Bream is the final Liberty hitter to posted an above .400 average during the span, batting .412. The junior also has 17 RBIs during the spurt, five more than any other Flame.