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Liberty Visits George Mason for Midweek Game

March 25, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty senior Aaron Grijalva

Liberty senior Aaron Grijalva

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The Game
The Liberty Flames (11-9, 0-0 Big South) travel to Fairfax, Va., to square off with the George Mason Patriots (9-12, 6-2 CAA), Wednesday, March 26, at Raymond "Hap" Spuhler Field. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.

All-Time Series Against George Mason
Wednesday will be the 53rd meeting between the Flames and the Patriots on the diamond. George Mason holds a 29-23 edge in the all-time series, which began in 1977. However, Liberty has had the upper hand in the series the last two seasons, wining all four games between the squads. Last year, the Flames edged the Patriots, 5-4, at Spuhler Field on March 28. Later in 2007, Liberty rolled to a 13-5 victory over George Mason at Worthington Stadium on April 24.

The Last Time Out
Liberty scored early and often, backing a strong mound effort by Dustin Umberger to down Columbia, 12-2, Saturday afternoon at Lynchburg City Stadium. In the finale of the four-game series, the Flames scored four times in the second and three times in the third inning to take a commanding 7-0 lead. Meanwhile, Umberger cruised through six scoreless frames on his way to his third victory of the season. The right-hander ended up allowing two runs on seven hits in seven innings of work. He also struck out seven batters. First baseman David Giammaresi and Kenneth Negron led Liberty's 17-hit attack with three hits each. Each of Liberty's starters had at least one hit in the contest.

A Look at the Patriots
After dropping a 6-4 decision to Maryland on Tuesday, George Mason have posted a 9-12 mark in 2008.
Despite the sub-.500 ledger, the Patriots entered Tuesday's contest with the Terps having won eight of their last 13 games. George Mason sports a 6-2 record in the Colonial Athletic Association, after taking two-of-three from Northeastern this past weekend.
Mason is hitting .295 as a team, with four regulars batting .370 or better. Ryan Soares is batting .370 while Scott Krieger is batting .372 with 23 RBIs and team highs in homers, with nine, and runs, with 27. Justin Bour leads the team with a .387 batting average along with 27 RBIs. He also has eight homers and 20 runs scored. Spencer Wiggins is batting .313 with 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

Liberty on the Road 
This year, Liberty is scheduled to play 22 contests on the road, plus 10 on neutral fields.  Jim Toman's team's road schedule includes two tournaments. The first is in Clearwater, Fla., which opened the season, followed by The Coca-Cola Classic in Hattiesburg, Miss., March 14-15.
For the season, Liberty sports a 1-2 road record and a 5-4 neutral field mark.
Last season, Liberty posted a 10-15 road record, plus a 3-1 mark on neutral fields. 

Friday Night Lights
Installation crews continue their work on erecting lights at Worthington Stadium.  The installation is on schedule and the stadium will have a historic first on Friday night, with its first night game.
Liberty will host the nation's 18th-ranked team, Coastal Carolina, for a three-game Big South series at the facility, starting Friday.  Game time Friday night is slated for 7 p.m.
The installation of lights is one of several improvement projects to Worthington Stadium and the adjacent Crowder/Muckel Field House over the past year.
The Liberty baseball program moved to the on-campus facility in 1979. At the time, the field was named Liberty Field. In May 1989, the field was renamed Worthington Stadium after the program's first coach and later Athletic Director Al Worthington.

Giammaresi Makes Most of Starts
Senior David Giammaresi made the most of his opportunity this past weekend.  The senior, who earned second-team all-conference honors as a third baseman in 2007, started all four games of the series against Columbia at first base.
Giammaresi led the Flames in hitting in the series, batting .625 with three doubles and a RBI.  The switch hitter, along with teammates Tim Rotola and Errol Hollinger, had a hit in each of the four contests. 
In each of the four contests, Giammaresi had two or more hits, posting a pair of two-hit games and two three-hit games.