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Liberty Continues Road Swing with 3-Game Series at Gardner-Webb

April 20, 2017  Boiling Springs, N.C.  RSS
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Right-hander Evan Mitchell

Right-hander Evan Mitchell

April 21-April 23
John Henry Moss Stadium
Boiling Springs, N.C.

Friday – 7 p.m.
Saturday – 2 p.m.
Sunday - 2 p.m.


LFSN Radio Coverage: 
93.3FM/1320AM WVGM ESPN Radio


TV - Friday: ESPN 3  

Video Stream - Saturday & Sunday: Big South Network

Live Stats: Friday    Saturday  Sunday

Quick Hits
• Liberty enters the weekend with a 21-14 overall record and  7-5 mark in the Big South. On Tuesday, the Flames defeated No. 3 North Carolina, 5-2. The Tar Heels are the highest ranked team Liberty has defeated in program history.

• With a 7-5 victory over Western Carolina on Wednesday, the Runnin' Bulldogs have won six out of their last seven contests. 
Gardner-Webb has posted a 19-17 overall mark and a 7-5 record in Big South Conference play so far this season.
• Gardner-Webb and Liberty did not meet last season. Liberty has won the past five meetings and holds a 17-4 advantage in the 
all-time series.
• Liberty opened an eight-game road trip, its longest of the season, on Tuesday. The Flames' 9-2 road record is the fourth best 
in Division I baseball according to
• The 2017 season is Liberty's first under head coach Scott Jackson.  Jackson, who was an assistant coach at Liberty in 2008, spent the past eight seasons as an assistant on head coach Mike Fox's staff at North Carolina. 
Road Ramblings
Liberty opened an eight-game road trip, its longest of the season, with a 5-2 win at No. 3 North Carolina, Tuesday evening.  The trip includes three-game Big South series at Gardner-Webb and Longwood, along with midweek contests at nationally-ranked North Carolina and Virginia.
With their victory on Tuesday, the Flames are now 9-2 on the road in 2017. The mark is the fourth best road record in Division I baseball according to Only No. 1 Oregon State (13-0), North Carolina (9-1) and Missouri (6-1) have posted better road records.
Liberty will play 12 out of its final 19 regular season games on the road. Besides their current road trip, the Flames will have a five-game road swing in early May to complete their road schedule.
The Flames went 4-0 on their last road swing, capping it off with a 26-1 win at James Madison in a game shortened to seven innings on April 11. Liberty opened the trip by sweeping a three-game conference series at Radford, April 8-9. 
Making History
Four two-out runs in the eighth inning powered the Liberty Flames past the No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels, 5-2, Tuesday night at Boshamer Stadium.
With the win, the Tar Heels became the highest ranked team Liberty has defeated in program history. Before Tuesday, the highest ranked team the Flames had beaten on the diamond was No. 5 South Carolina, 3-2, on Feb. 17, 2013.
Trailing 2-1 in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and two out, Liberty third baseman Trey McDyre lined a double off the top of the left-center field wall, clearing the bases and giving the Flames a 4-2 advantage. Left fielder Jake Barbee followed with a triple to center field for what proved to be the final score of 5-2.
Four Liberty pitchers silenced the North Carolina bats throughout the night. Starting pitcher Jackson Bertsch, Cody Gamble, Shane Quarterley and Jack DeGroat limited the Tar Heels to two runs on four hits. Gamble recorded the win with two scoreless innings, while DeGroat pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his third save.
The contest marked the return of Liberty first-year head coach Scott Jackson to Chapel Hill.  Jackson was an assistant coach at North Carolina the past eight seasons. It was also the return of Liberty pitching coach Bryant Gaines. Gaines was a member of four different College World Series teams while a member of the Tar Heels from 2007-11.
ERA Tops The Big South
Led by right-hander Caleb Evans, the Flames lead the Big South Conference with a 3.70 team earned run average (ERA). The Flames also  top the conference with a .250 opponent batting average.
Senior right-hander Caleb Evans enters the week second in the Big South with a 2.05 ERA. Evans is also tied for the conference lead with five wins. In additon, the right-hander leads the Flames in innings pitched (52 2/3) runs allowed (15) and strikeouts (48).
The Liberty bullpen enjoyed early success, this season. The Flames' bullpen combined to post a 2.11 ERA through the first 23 games of 2017.  Currently, Liberty relievers work has continued to be solid and enter the weekend with a 3.07 ERA. They have combined to allow 50  earned runs over 146 1/3 innings this season. 

Walk this Way
Liberty enters the week among the national leaders in walks.  The Flames have drawn 204 bases on balls and rank seventh in the nation in the category.  Liberty is averaging 5.8 walks per game.

Leading the way is outfielder D.J. Artis. Despite missing three games, Artis leads the Big South with 33 walks and is fourth in the nation with 1.03 free passes per game. For the second straight year, the outfielder leads the conference with a .497 on base percentage and is 217th nationally in the category.

In addition, the Flames lead the Big South with a .387 on base percentage. Andrew Kowalo (.442) and Sammy Taormina (.436) join Artis among the conference leaders in on base percentage