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Liberty to Host VMI for Big South Series

April 18, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty pitcher Dustin Umberger

Liberty pitcher Dustin Umberger

Complete Notes (PDF)

The Games
The Liberty Flames (18-18, 6-3 Big South) host the Big South leading VMI Keydets in an important three-game Big South series, April 18-20, at Worthington Stadium. First pitch for the opening contest of the series is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday. The middle game of the set is slated for Saturday. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. The series final game on Sunday is scheduled for 1 p.m.

All-Time Series Against VMI
Friday's meeting between the Keydets and Flames will be the 33rd meeting between the two squads on the diamond. Liberty holds a 24-8 advantage in the alltime series, which began in 1976.
Last season, the Flames went 3-1 against the Keydets. Liberty won two games in a three-game series between the two teams in Lexington, Va., the last weekend of the regular season in 2007. The Flames took the series opener, 4-0, behind David Stokes and Dustin Umberger on May 18. After dropping the middle game 5-3, Liberty captured the series on Sunday, with a 10-9 victory.
Three days later, VMI and Liberty met again in the first game of the Big South Championships in Rock Hill, S.C. Behind the pitching of Umberger, the No. 3 seed Flames defeated the No. 4 seed Keydets, 4-3, on May 23.

The Last Time Out
Liberty fell to Virginia Tech, 11-1, on Wednesday afternoon at Worthington Stadium. Garrett Young singled home the Flames' only run of the game in the second inning. The Hokies scored four runs in the top of the second inning and never relinguished their advantage, enroute to the victory.

A Look at the Keydets
VMI enters the weekend on a four-game winning streak. During the past week, the Keydets defeated Norfolk State and James Madison in nonconference games, and took a three-game Big South Conference series from UNC Asheville, two games to one. With the two conference victories, the Keydets remained on top of the Big South standings with nine victories.
Through their first 36 games of the season, VMI is batting .284 as a team. Outfielder Brian Sandridge leads the Keydets with a .353 batting average. Third baseman Tanner Biagini is second with a .352 average and paces the VMI with 30 RBIs.
Chris Henderson enters the weekend with a 2.68 ERA and a 5-3 record. He leads the Keydets in ERA. Travis Smink has made a team-leading 13 apperances, while Michael Bowman and Jason Farley have pitched in 12 contests. As a staff, the Keydets have posted a 4.14 team ERA.

Following the Flames
Friday's and Sunday's contests between VMI and Liberty will be broadcast on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light". Friday's broadcast begins at 7 p.m., while Sunday's broadcast will start at 1 p.m.
This season, the Flames Sports Network plans to broadcast 19 regular season Flames contests. The games will be broadcast over the airwaves at 90.9 or online at LibertyFlames.com or thelightonline.com.
Live stats for all three games of the series are available at LibertyFlames.com. All Liberty contests can be viewed over the World Wide Web on LibertyFlames by clicking the Live Stats link.

Flames at Worthington Stadium
For the past 28 years, the Flames have called Worthington Stadium their home. The Flames have compiled an impressive 481-221-4 record at the facility for a winning percentage of .685 since the stadium's inception in 1979.
This year, the Flames are slated to play 24 home games at the stadium. Liberty has posted a 6-9 record at Worthington, so far this season.
The slate of home games includes the first night contests in the history of the stadium. March 28 was the first night contest ever at the stadium, and nine contests currently are scheduled to be played under the lights.
Last season, Liberty went 23-9 at Worthington. The 23 wins tie for the third most by the Flames in a season at the facility.

Double Dipping
Entering play this week, Liberty leads the Big South in doubles with 88 two-base hits. Outfielder P. K. Keller is tied atop the conference with 16 doubles. Teammate David Giammaresi is also among the conference leaders with 12 two-base hits. The first baseman's total is tied for fourth with four others. Defensively, the Flames head up the conference in double plays. Liberty has turned 38 twin killings this season.

Flames Among Big South Leaders
Three Liberty hitters enter the week among the Big South leaders in batting average, headed by David Giammaresi. The senior first baseman is fifth in the conference with a .381 batting average. He leads the Flames with five three-hit games.
Outfielder P.K. Keller is eighth in the Big South with a .363 average. The senior is also fifth in the league with a .611 slugging percentage and tops the conference with 16 doubles.
Third baseman Cody Brown rounds out the trio. The junior is ninth in the conference with a .360 average. He has 12 multiple-hit games, including four three-hit contests.

Evans Pitches Gem In Win at William & Mary
Liberty freshman left-hander Steven Evans kept William & Mary hitters off stride through 7 2/3 innings in a 13-3 Libery victory, Tuesday.
The Flames took control of the contest in the second inning with a seven-run outburst, highlighted by a two-run homer run by Aaron Phillips and a grand slam by David Giammaresi. Cody Brown hit his fourth home run of the year later in the contest.
Evans evened his record at 2-2, as he allowed two runs on six hits and struck out a career-best 10 Tribe batters.

A Look Ahead
Liberty begins a stretch of five consecutive road contests by visiting James Madison on Tuesday. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Flame will travel to Old Dominion for a 6 p.m. contest.
On the weekend, Liberty will travel to Rock Hill, S.C., for a three-game Big South series with Winthrop. The first game of the series Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m.