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Flames to Host Tournament
After a five-game road swing, the Liberty Flames (22-19, 12-6 Big South) return home to host the Liberty Tournament at Worthington Stadium, Friday-Sunday. The tournament will feature a three-team field, with each team playing four games. The Le Moyne Dolphins (13-25) and New Orleans Privateers (3-38) will also take part in the tournament.
Liberty will square off with Le Moyne in the second game of the opening day of the tournament on Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, the Flames will host the Privateers in the first game of the day at 3 p.m. Liberty will round out the tournament on Sunday with two games. Head Coach Jim Toman's team will play New Orleans at Noon and host the Dolphins in a game to start 45 minutes after the conclusion of the Privateers-Flames.
Liberty Tournament Schedule
Friday - Game 1 - New Orleans vs. Le Moyne 1 p.m.
Game 2 - Le Moyne at Liberty 7 p.m.
Saturday- Game 3 - New Orleans at Liberty 3 p.m.
Game 4 - Le Moyne at New Orleans 7 p.m.
Sunday - Game 5 - New Orleans at Liberty Noon
Game 6 - Le Moyne at Liberty Approx. 45 min. after
Following the Flames
All four Liberty games may be heard LIVE online at LibertyFlames.com. Nick Pierce will handle play-by-play duties and former Flames pitcher Doug Wallace will provide commentary for the games. Saturday's New Orleans-Liberty contest and Sunday's Le Moyne-Liberty contest will als be broadcast on 90.9 FM "The Light".
In addition, Friday's night contest against Le Moyne will be video streammed 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.
Last Time Out
Liberty outfielder Ryan Cordell hit two home runs, as the Flames were defeated by the No. 2-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, 9-6, Tuesday afternoon at Carolina Stadium.
Cordell becomes the third Liberty player to hit two home runs in a contest this season. As the first two hits of his collegiate career, the outfielder hit round trippers in the fourth and eight innings.
Liberty totaled 10 hits in the contest. Center fielder Ian Parmley and right fielder Robertson each had three hits for the Flames. South Carolina had 10 hits in the game.
The non-conference contest marked the return of Liberty head coach Jim Toman to South Carolina. Before taking over the reins of the Flames program in 2008, Toman spent 11 years on Gamecocks head coach Ray Tanner's staff.
Liberty will host the UNC Asheville Bulldogs in a three-game Big South series at Worthington Stadium, May 5 & 7. The series will open with a single game on May 5 at 7 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on May 7 at 1 p.m.
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 534-243-5 record at the stadium for a winning percentage of .686 since the facility's inception in 1979.
The Flames are 10-5 on the year at Worthington Stadium. Liberty posted a 19-9 record at home in 2010. The Flames are 60-29-1 at home under four-year head coach Jim Toman's guidance.
Two-HRs Games Abound Over 10-Day Stretch
Three Flames have hit two home runs in a game over the last eight contests, a stretch of 10 days. Designated hitter Justin Richardson became the first Flame to hit two home runs in a game this season in a 7-1 win over Presbyterian College in the first game of a doubleheader, April 17 at Worthington Stadium. The blasts were his first and second round trippers of the year Richardson belted solo home runs in the fourth and sixth innings of the contest.
Catcher Jeff Jefferson followed six days later in an 8-6 victory over VMI in game one of a doubleheader at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington, Va., April 23. Jefferson lined a solo home run in the fifth and tied the game at 6-6 in the ninth inning with solo home run. In the come-from-behind victory at VMI, the Flames hit five home runs, the most in a contest this season.
Outfielder Ryan Cordell became the third player with a multi-home run game this past Tuesday at No. 2 South Carolina. The first two hits of his collegiate career, the outfielder hit round trippers in the fourth and eight innings.
Last season, Liberty only had one multiple-home run game. Third baseman Tyler Bream hit round trippers, including a two-run, walk-off home run in the last game of the season at Worthington Stadium in a 7-6 victory over VCU on May 18, 2010.
Evans Pitches Way into Record Book
With 51 strikeouts on the year, senior left-hander Steven Evans has moved into fourth place on Liberty's all-time strikeout list with 236. He enters the weekend five 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 seventh in the Big South in strikeouts this season.
Evans is also tied for fourth on the program's career wins list with 23. The senior, who has a career record of 23-10, is tied with Kevin Napier (1983-86) for fourth on the all-time list. The left-hander needs one more win to move into second on the school's career victory list with Tim Harrell (1995-98) and David Harris (1979-83). 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 284 1/3 innings. Evans begins the weekend in fifth place on the program's all-time list. Guetterman also heads up that list with 334 2/3 innings pitched during his time at Liberty.
A fixture of the Flames' pitching staff over the past four years, Evans has a 23-10 career record with a 3.67 ERA. The left-hander has walked 93 batters for a 2.53 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio during his career.
Scoring First = Wins
Posting the first run of a contest has been a key indicator of Liberty's success this season. The Flames are 14-5 when scoring first in a contest. Meanwhile, Liberty is 8-14 when its opponents plate the first run of the game.
It is What I Like About Sunday
The Flames will play two games this weekend on Sunday. Liberty has found the day to their liking this season, posting a 7-1 in games played on Sunday. In its lone Sunday loss, Liberty was defeated 5-4 by Coastal Carolina on April 3.
In Sunday games, the Flames have outscored their opponents, 51-24, and have a .304 batting average compared to a .235 for their opponents.
Led by starter Steven Evans, who is 3-0 on Sunday this season, Liberty pitchers have posted a 2066 ERA in their eight Sunday games.
All three Liberty starting outfielders Ian Parmley, Michael Robertson and Doug Bream, have also made the most of Sunday play. Parmley has a .391 batting average, with nine hits in 23 at bats. Robertson has hit .379 with nine RBIs and seven runs scored. The junior has hit both of his home runs this season on Sunday.
Bream has posted a .400 batting average on Sunday, with seven RBIs and six runs batted in.
Meanwhile, shortstop Matt Williams, who leads the Flames with a .385 batting average, has hit .400 on the first day of the week. The shortstop has collected 14 hits, including four doubles. Williams has five RBIs and scored four runs in his eight Sunday games.