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Flames Tabbed Fifth In Big South Preseason Baseball Poll

January 25, 2007
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Ryan Page has led the Flames in ERA the past two seasons.

Ryan Page has led the Flames in ERA the past two seasons.

The Liberty Flames baseball team has been picked to finish fifth in the Big South Conference this season in the league's annual preseason baseball poll as voted on by the conference's head coaches and Sports Information Directors and announced last night by the conference office.

Winthrop was chosen as the team to beat in 2007. The Eagles, ranked as high as No. 23 nationally, were picked first on 14 out of the 16 ballots cast. In addition, Winthrop senior outfielder Tommy Lentz was voted the conference's Preseason Player of the Year, while sophomore pitcher Alex Wilson was selected as the conference's Preseason Pitcher of the Year by the panel.

Liberty comes off a 39-21 mark in 2006, which set a new school record for Division I victories. The Flames, who have put back-to-back 30-win seasons for the fourth time in the program's history the past two seasons, received 71 points in being selected fifth.

Winthrop received 126 points in being tabbed first, followed by Coastal Carolina, who received the other two first-place votes and 108 points. Defending tournament champion UNC Asheville and High tied for the third spot in the poll with 82 points. After Liberty, VMI was selected sixth (54), Charleston Southern was tabbed seventh (34) and Radford was eighth (19) in conference voting.

Liberty opens it 2007 season on February 9 with a three-game weekend series at East Carolina. The Flames open their home schedule two weeks later on February 23 when they host Albany at Worthington Stadium.