Senior outfielder Tim Rotola and the Flames visit James Madison and No.1 North Carolina for midweek contests, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Complete Game Notes (PDF) The Games The Liberty Flames (3-1, 0-0 Big South) travel to Harrisonburg, Va., Tuesday, for the first of three midweek contests with the James Madison Dukes (1-3, 0-0 CAA) this season. First pitch at Long Field/Mauck Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Flames visit Chapel Hill, N.C., to square off with the No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (3-0, 0-0 ACC).Game time is schedule for 3 p.m. What to Watch After capturing the 2009 Coca-Cola Classic title with a 3-1 mark this past weekend, Liberty will look to extend its three game winning streak, as the Flames play their first midweek contests of the year. Liberty was one of several other teams receiving votes in this week's NCBWA Division I Baseball poll. The Flames' starting nine returns catcher Errol Hollinger, infi elder Cody Brown and outfielder Jeff Jefferson from last year's line-up. Hollinger, who is starting behind the plate for the fourth consecutive season, has been named to the 2009 Brooks Wallace Player of the Year Watch list. The catcher hit two home runs this past Saturday in 5-2 and 4-3 (10inning) wins over South Alabama. Freshman third baseman Tyler Bream and Jefferson had a hit in each of Liberty's fi rst four games. Four of Bream's six hits have been doubles. Jefferson has collected a team-high seven hits, including a home run. Tuesday's opponent, James Madison, returns six position starters from last year's NCAA Regional team, which went 39-19. The Dukes posted a 1-3 mark last weekend at the Caravelle Resort Invitational in Conway, S.C. James Madison defeated No. 22 Coastal Carolina, the tournament host on the fi nal day of the tournament, 8-6. Shortstop David Herbek is batting .500 through his fi rst four games, as the sophomore has collected eight hits. On Wednesday, the NCBWA's No. 1-ranked team North Carolina returns five position starters from 2008 College World Series participant, led by 2008 All-America and 2009 Preseason All-America first baseman Dustin Ackley. The Tar Heels, who posted a 54-14 mark in 2008, opened their 2009 season with a three-game sweep of VMI this past weekend. Ackley enters the week, hitting .692 through the Tar Heels first three contests. Designated hitter Mark Fluery and third baseman Kyle Seager also sport above .460 averages in the early going.
A Look at
Most Victories by First-Year Coach at Liberty With 35 wins in 2008, Liberty Head Coach Jim Toman became the winningest first year coach in the program's history. Toman, the sixth head coach in the 35-year history of the Flames, led Liberty to a 35-26-1 mark in his fi rst year, eclipsing the mark of Dave Pastors, the fourth head coach in program history. In 1998, his fi rst season, Pastors led the Flames to a 32-29 record. Following the Flames This season, the Flames Sports Network plans to broadcast several Liberty baseball regular season games. Games will air live on WWMC 90.9 FM "The Light" and on the World Wide Web at both LibertyFlames.com and thelightonline.com. The schedule of games will be posted on thelightonline.com, when the station announces its broadcast schedule. In addition, selected games will be video streamed live on the internet via the Big South Edge, available on BigSouthSports.com. The stream can be accessed by a link on LibertyFlames.com or by going directly to BigSouthSports.com. Live stats are available for each Liberty contest through LibertyFlames.com. Pitching Probables Tuesday: Liberty - RHP Joe Steinwedell vs. James Madison - RHP David Edwards Wednesday: Liberty - TBA vs. North Carolina - RHP Bryant Gaines The Last Time Out Liberty won its third-straight contest, 3-2 over Mercer, to capture the 2009 Coca-Cola Classic title Sunday in Mobile, Ala. Outfi elder Jeff Jefferson lined a grounder off the glove of Bears third baseman Jacob Tanis for an infi eld single, scoring second baseman P.J. Jimenez with the go ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Right-hander Tyler Light pitched his second scoreless frame in the ninth to wrap-up the 3-2 win. In his fi rst appearance of the season, the senior recorded the victory. All-Time Against James Madison and North Carolina Tuesday will be the 59th meeting between Liberty and James Madison on the baseball diamond since 1976. Having won the past fi ve meeting between the two teams, the Dukes hold a 36-22 advantage in the series. Last season, James Madison took all three games between the two squads. Liberty has not won in the series since erasing a fi ve-run Duke advantage with six eighth-inning runs in a 12-11 win, April 11, 2006 at Worthington Stadium. The Flames have not won at Long Field in Harrisonburg, Va., since 9-4 victory on March 29, 2005. North Carolina and Liberty will meet for 14th time on Wednesday. The Flames have never beaten the Tar Heels, who have a 13-0 edge in the series since 1976. The two have not met since a 10-4 North Carolina victory in Chapel Hill, N.C., on March 12, 2003.
Liberty on the Road With its Coca-Cola Classic title this past weekend, Liberty opened its 2009 season with a 2-0 road mark and a 1-1 neutral field record. The Flames completed their 2008 road schedule, posting a 15-8 road record and a 9-6 neutral field mark. The Flames' 15 road victories were the most by a Liberty club in program history. Liberty's .652 road winning percentage was its best road mark since 1980, when the Flames went 9-2 on the road for an .818 percentage. Baseball in the Commonwealth Thirteen Division I baseball teams call the Commonwealth of Virginia home. This season, the Flames are scheduled to face opponents from the "Old Dominion State" 20 times, starting Tuesday with the first of three games with James Madsion. Liberty posted a 13-13-1 record against in-state opponents in 2008. The Flames will meet state squads George Mason (two times), James Madison (three times), Longwood (one time), Old Dominion (two times), Radford (three times), VCU (one time), VMI (three times), Virginia (one time), Virginia Tech (two times) and William & Mary (two times) this season.
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