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Flames to Host Patriots in Midweek Tilt

April 29, 2008  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty center fielder Joseph Feeley

Liberty center fielder Joseph Feeley

Complete Game Notes (PDF)

The Game
The Liberty Flames (22-22, 9-6 Big South) host the George Mason Patriots (22-21, 14-8 CAA) on Wednesday, April 30. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Worthington Stadium.

All-Time Series Against George Mason
Wednesay will be the 54th meeting between the Patriots and Flames on the diamond. With its victory earlier in the season, George Mason holds a 30-23 edge in the all-time series since 1977. Earlier this year, the Patriots defeated the Flames, 13-0, on March 26 in Fairfax, Va.

The Last Time Out
A ninth-inning rally fell short, as Liberty dropped an 8-7 decision to the Winthrop Eagles, Sunday in Rock Hill, S.C. Trailing 8-2 after four innings, the Flames whittled away at the Eagle advantage, closing the gap to one with two outs in the ninth and runners at second and third. However, Winthrop was able to get the next Liberty batter to close out the game for an 8-7 victory. Liberty shortstop Aaron Phillips had three hits in the contest to lead the Flames. The senior scored twice and drove in a run. Catcher Errol Hollinger added his team-leading seventh home run for the Flames.

A Look at the Patriots
George Mason will travel to Lynchburg Wednesday, after hosting Georgetown on Tuesday.  With back-to-back wins at Delware over the weekend, the Patriots will begin the week, 22-21 and 14-8 in the CAA. George Mason has posted a 10-4 mark in its last 14 contests.
The Patriots are led by Dick Howser Watch List member Justin Bour.  The first baseman is one of 50 players in the country named to the list. The award is given by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association to the nation's top player. Bour paces George Mason in batting. He enters the week hitting .430 on the year with 12 homers, 52 RBIs and a .500 on-base percentage. He has reached base safely in every game this year and currently has an 11-game hitting streak. The Patriots are batting .306, as  a team, which is the fifth-highest single-season mark in the school's Division I history. George Mason also has a .968 fielding percentage, the second-best single-season mark in 29 seasons as a Division I school.

Following the Flames
Wednesday's contest will be broadcast live on the WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light" and on the World Wide Web at both LibertyFlames.com and thelightonline.com. In addition, live stats are available for each Liberty contest through Liberty Flames.com.   
 
Flames at Worthington Stadium
For the past 28 years, the Flames have called Worthington Stadium their home. The Flames have compiled an impressive 483-222-4 record at the facility for a winning percentage of .684 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 8-10 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.

Flames by the Month
Liberty has posted a 10-10 mark in the month of April.  The Flames are 8-4 in Big South play during the month. Last season, Liberty went 11-6 in the fourth month of the year.  Since 1976, the Flames have recorded an all-time mark of 323-275-1 (.539) in April.
Liberty posted a 7-12 record and began Big South play at 1-2 in March. Last season, the Flames posted a 10-9 record in the third month of they year and began Big South play with a 3-3 record.  Since 1978, Liberty has posted a record of 325-266-2 (.539) in the month of March.
Liberty played five contests during the month of February in 2008, with the inception of the common starting date for college baseball.  For the first time this season, NCAA Division I programs could not begin competition until Feb. 22. The Flames went unbeaten during the month, posting a 5-0 mark to open the 2008 campaign
Last season, Liberty started the 2007 campaign by posting a 7-3 mark in February, while in 2006, Liberty started 7-2. The Flames have been successful during the month with a mark of 69-29 (.704) since 1976.  It is the third-straight season, Liberty has had a strong opening month.

Stokes Named Pitcher of the Week for April 15-20
Liberty senior David Stokes was named the New Balance Big South Pitcher of the Week, for games played April 15-20.
Stokes pitched eight scoreless innings and scattered five hits in an 8-0 victory over VMI, April 18 at Worthington Stadium. The shutout was the first of the season by the Flames mound staff, as reliever Andrew Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth frame. During his eight innings of work, the right-hander struck out nine batters and yielded one walk. The senior allowed only one runner past second base in the game.
Stokes also picked up recognition for his performance from InsidePitching.com, which named the right-hander's effort their Southeast Region Performance of the Week, while The College Baseball Blog and StatsStud.com named the Locust Grove, Okla., senior one of their two Players of the Week.

Extra-Inning Extravangza
The Flames' 6-5, 16-inning setback to VMI on April 19 was the longest game in Liberty history, both in innings played and in time. A 5-4, 14-innng setback against the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg, Va., on April 9, 1990, had been the most innings in a contest the Flames had previously played.
The 16-inning marathon lasted four hours and 26 minutes, also the longest game in duration recorded in program history. The Flames had previously had two other gamesgo over four hours. Liberty defeated Charleston Southern, 3-2, in 12 innings in four hours and seven minutes on May 22, 2006. The previously longest recorded game involving a Liberty team was a 4-2 loss at William & Mary on April 9, 1998. The nine-inning contest went four hours and 11 minutes.

Double Dipping
Entering play this week, Liberty leads the Big South in doubles with 113 two-base hits, 18 more than runner-up Coastal Carolina.  A trio of Flames are among the conference leaders in the category. Outfielder P. K. Keller paces the conference with 17 doubles. Teammate David Giammaresi is tied for second with 15 two-base hits. Cody Brown  is the third Liberty player in the top ten in doubles with 14, tying him for sixth.  

Flames Among Big South Leaders
Liberty third baseman Cody Brown enters the week ninth in the conference in batting average with a .351 average. First baseman David Giammaresi is 10th in the the Big South with a .348 batting average. Brown is also seventh in the conference with a .558 slugging percentage.  Giammaresi joins him among the slugging percentage leaders  in ninth with a .553.
Besides leading the conference with 17 doubles, P.K. Keller is currently tied for seventh in the league with 38 RBIs.
On the mound, right-hander David Stokes leads the Big South in strikeouts with 61, one more than teammate Dustin Umberger.  Stokes is also tied for fifth on the conference's leader board for wins with five and is fourth in the Big South with 69 1/3 innings pitched.

Brown's Bat Helps Flames Over Monarchs
Third baseman Cody Brown drove in four runs with a two-run home run and a pair of doubles, as Liberty downed the Old Dominion Monarchs, 11-3, last Wednesday night at Bud Metheny Stadium.
Brown began his night with a two-run double in the first inning to give the Flames a 4-0 advantage. In the third frame, the third baseman led off the inning with a double and later scored. Brown capped off his three-hit evening with his sixth home run of the season in the sixth inning.
Left fielder Aaron Grijalva also had three hits in the contest. Starter Tyler Light evened his record at 2-2 with six innings of work.

A Look Ahead
Liberty returns to the road on the weekend with a trip to Charleston Southern.  The Flames and Buccaneers will meet on Saturday at 3 p.m., followed on Sunday by a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.  
During the week, Liberty will travel to Blacksburg, Va., to sqaure off with the Virginia Tech  Hokies on Wednesday in the lone contest during the midweek.