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Flames No.2 Seed for 2011 Big South Baseball Championship
For the third time in the last four seasons, the Liberty Flames have garnered the No. 2 seed for this week's Big South Baseball Championship. The tournament will be contested May 24-28 at the Gray-Minor Stadium in the Lexington, Va.
Liberty recorded an 18-9 record in Big South play to secure the No. 2. The Flames will enter the tournament with a 32-22 overall record. Liberty recorded 30 wins in a season for the seventh consecutive season, and each of its four years under head coach Jim Toman. It is the first time in the 38-year history of the program, the Flames have won 30 or more games seven-straight years.
Liberty will play the highest remaining seed from Tuesday's single-elimination contests between the No.5-8 seeds. The Flames will draw either No. 5 seed Gardner-Webb or the winner of the No. 6 seed Radford and No. 7 seed VMI game. The contest is scheduled to be the second of three contests on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m.
For the fifth consecutive season and the sixth time in the last seven years, Coastal Carolina is the No. 1 seed for the Big South Baseball Championship. The Chanticleers won the Big South regular-season championship with a 20-7 conference mark.
After Liberty, Charleston Southern and Winthrop tied for third place in the league standings with a 15-12 mark. The Buccaneers receive No. 3 seed due to taking the season series between the two teams, two games to one. Winthrop claims the No. 4 seed. The top four seeds will open tournament play on Wednesday, May 25.
For the fifth-straight year, the Big South Baseball Championship will feature eight squads competing for the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Regional. The bottom four teams will play a single-elimination game on Tuesday. The first game will feature the No. 6-No. 7 game at 4 p.m., followed by the No. 5-No. 8 match-up at 7 p.m.
Gardner-Webb, Radford and Tournament host VMI tied for fifth in the League standings at 14-13. The tiebreaker procedure for multiple-team ties was used - composite records of the tying teams against each other to determine if one team won more games against the other institutions. Gardner-Webb was 5-1 against Radford and VMI and receives the No. 5 seed. With the tie reduced to Radford-VMI, the Highlanders claim the No. 6 seed due to winning the season series over the Keydets, two games to one, dropping VMI to the No. 7 seed. High Point rounds out the bracket at No. 8 after finishing the conference season 9-18 (24-31 overall).
Presbyterian College closed out the campaign in ninth-place at 7-20, but is not eligible for the conference tournament until 2012 due to its ongoing transition to Division I. UNC Asheville did not qualify for the tournament with its last-place finish this season at 6-20 and misses the postseason for the first time since the bracket expanded to eight teams in 2007.
Tuesday's winners will advance to the main double-elimination bracket, with the lowest remaining seed playing No. 1 Coastal Carolina Wednesday morning at 11 a.m., followed by Liberty's contest at 3 p.m. The No. 3 Charleston Southern - No. 4 Winthrop game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
In addition to the start of main bracket play Wednesday, the Big South will announce the 2011 All-Conference teams in an on-field ceremony prior to one of the three games, which is still to be determined. The championship will continue with Games 6-8 on Thursday, Games 9-11 on Friday, and the championship game on Saturday at 1p.m. Saturday's Championship day including the "if necessary game" will be televised live on ESPN3.com
The complete Big South Baseball Championship schedule appears below. Each Liberty contest will be broadcast LIVE on WWMC 90.9 "The Light" FM by Nick Pierce and Doug Wallace during the tournament. All games will be video streamed live on the Big South Network. Tournament games will be available daily via the $6.95 Day Pass -- which covers all games played that respective day -- or the $19.95 Full Championship Pass, which features the tournament in its entirety. In addition, real-time "Live Stats" will be available on the Big South, VMI and LibertyFlames.com website free of charge.
Tuesday (Games 1-2)
Game 1: No. 6 seed Radford vs. No. 7 seed VMI, 4 p.m.
Game 2: No. 5 seed Gardner-Webb vs. No. 8 seed High Point, 7 p.m.
Wednesday (Games 3-5)
Game 3: No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina vs. lowest remaining seed, 11a.m.
Game 4: No. 2 seed Liberty vs. highest remaining seed, 3 p.m.
Game 5: No. 3 seed Charleston Southern vs. No. 4 seed Winthrop, 7 p.m.
Thursday (Games 6-8)
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 11 a.m.
Game 7: Loser Game 5 vs. Winner Game 3, 3 p.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 7 p.m.
Friday (Games 9-11)
Game 9: TBA vs. TBA, 11 a.m.
Game 10: TBA vs. TBA, 3 p.m.
Game 11: TBA vs. TBA, 7 p.m.
Saturday (Games 12-13)
Game 12: Championship Game, 1p.m.
Game 13: If necessary, Championship Game (immediately following Game 12)