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Liberty Treks to High Point for Big South Series
The Liberty Flames (15-15, 5-4 Big South) travel to High Point, N.C., for a three-game Big South series with the High Point Panthers (16-16, 3-6 Big South) at Coy O. Willard Stadium, Friday-Sunday. The opening game of the series on Friday and Saturday's middle game are both scheduled to start at 6 p.m. The first pitch for Sunday's finale is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Last Time Out
Liberty left fielder Doug Bream had a career-high five hits, but the Flames came up short in a slugfest with the James Madison Dukes, 16-12, on a windy Wednesday afternoon at Worthington Stadium.
Bream went 5-for-5 in the game, with four singles and a double. In addition, the Liberty senior scored three times. 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 was 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.
With the wind gusting from 17-20 mph throughout the game, the two teams combined to hit seven home runs. James Madison, which leads the country in home runs, belted five in the contest, while Liberty hit two round trippers.
The visiting Dukes scored six times in the ninth to overcome a 12-10 Liberty lead for the win.
Liberty will travel to Harrisonburg, Va., for a rematch with the James Madison Dukes, Tuesday. Game time at Veterans Memorial Stadium is slated for 6:30 p.m.
Following the Flames
Alll three contests may be heard LIVE from Williard Stadium on the World Wide Web at LibertyFlames.com. Saturday and Sunday's contests may also be heard LIVE on 90.9 FM "The Light". Nick Pierce will handle the play-by-play and Doug Wallace color duties for the broadcast.
The Flames are 8-10 away from home this season. Liberty is 6-10 in road contests and 2-0 in neutral site games. Liberty is slated to play 29 regular-season contests away from home. The Flames will square off with 27 of their opponents on their home field this season and already have met two teams, Rutgers and Monmouth, on a neutral field during the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C., March 11-13.
The Flames went 21-10 in road contests in 2010. Liberty posted the 10th-best road mark in the nation during the year. The Flames went 18-8 in road games and 3-2 in neutral site contests during the year.
Get Your Running Shoes On
What a difference a year makes. So far this season, Liberty has taken advantage of its team speed, doubling its stolen base total from a year ago. The Flames have stolen 65 bases in 77 attempts this season, compared to 2010, when the Flames swiped only 22 bases in 35 tries through 30 games. Liberty's 65 stolen bases lead the Big South Conference in the category. The Flames also entered the week ranked fourth in the nation in the latest NCAA Division statistical rankings (through April 3).
Leading the way for the Flames is catcher Casey Rasmus, who is 17-for-18 in steal attempts this season. He is currently second in the Big South Conference in stolen bases. Center fielder Ian Parmley is next on the team and ranks fourth in the Big South with 14 thefts (14-for-19).
The Flames' stolen base totals are definitely a stark contrast from last season, when only outfielder Curran Redal had stolen six bases and led the team at this point in the year. This season, five Liberty players have six or more base thefts. Outfielder Michael Robertson and shortstop Matt Williams join the previously mentioned Rasmus and Parmley, with seven stolen bases apiece, while fellow outfielder Doug Bream has six stolen bases. Bream, a senior, entered the year with a career total of two stolen bases over his previous three seasons.
Tyler Bream Moves into Career 2Bs List
With a double in the sixth inning of Liberty's 16-7 victory over Winthrop on March 26, Liberty junior third baseman Tyler Bream moved into the Top 10 on the school's career doubles list with 44.
The third baseman, who had the second-most doubles in a season with 22 in 2010, has six this year. He is currently tied for ninth in the Big South. Bream is tied with former Flames Darrell Manuel (1980-83), Steve Wright (1995-98) and Joey Monahan (2000-02) for 10th on the Liberty all-time list with 44 career doubles.
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.
In addition, shortstop Matt Williams moved to within one two-base hit joining the school's top 10 career list in the category with 43, last Tuesday. The junior doubled in the third inning to reach 43 doubles in the 11-1 win at VCU. Last season, Williams also had 22 two-base hits, tying Bream for second on the single season list. The shortstop is tied for the Liberty lead with left fielder Doug Bream with nine doubles this season.
Evans Pitches Way into Record Book
After striking out six this past Sunday at Coastal Carolina, senior left-hander Steven Evans has moved into fourth place on Liberty's all-time strikeout list with 231, surpassing former teammate Dustin Umberger (2006-10), who finished his career last year with 230 strikeouts. Mike Brown (1994-97) is Liberty's career strikeout leader with 287. Evans is currently third in the Big South with 46 strikeouts this season.
Also with the victory, Evans moves into a tie 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 with seven innings of work Sunday, the senior moved into the Liberty career innings pitched list's Top 10 with 268 2/3 innings. Evans passed Kyle Bryan, who pitched 268 1/3 innings as a Flame from 1981-85 to move into 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 record with a 3.58 ERA. The left-hander has walked only 87 batters for a 2.7 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio.
Doing the Dougie
Wednesday afternoon, outfielder Doug Bream had a career-high five hits in a 16-12 setback. 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.
By going 5-for-5 in the contest, the senior outfielder raised his season batting average to .333 and he leads the Flames in RBIs with 23. Only teammate Matt Williams, hitting .364, has a higher batting average on the team.
Bream has had at least one hit in 26 of 30 games and is tied with Williams for the team lead with 13 multiple-hit games. He leads the team with eight multiple-RBI games and 10 doubles.
It is What I Like About Sunday
Liberty has opened the year 4-1 in games played on Sunday, and in its lone loss, it was defeated 5-4. In Sunday games, the Flames have outscored their opponents, 25-12, and have a .259 batting average compared to a .199 for their opponents.
Led by starter Steven Evans, who has recorded two wins this season on Sunday, Liberty pitchers have posted a 2.25 ERA in the five games.
Outfielder Michael Robertson and shortstop Matt Williams have also made the most of Sunday play. Robertson has hits .429 with five RBIs, four runs scored and hit both of his home runs this season on Sunday. Williams is batting .400 on the first day of the week. The shortstop has eight hits, including two doubles, three RBIs and scored two runs in his five Sunday games.