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Flames Travel to Lancers, Host Hokies

April 21, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Doug Bream reaches over the fence and brings back a home run Saturday against Winthrop.  The Flames travel to Longwood, Tuesday and host Virginia Tech, Wednesday.

Doug Bream reaches over the fence and brings back a home run Saturday against Winthrop. The Flames travel to Longwood, Tuesday and host Virginia Tech, Wednesday.

Complete Baseball Notes (PDF)

The Games
The Liberty Flames (26-12, 14-3 Big South) travel to Farmville, Va., Tuesday, for a meeting with the Longwood Lancers. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. On Wednesday, the Flames will welcome the Virginia Tech Hokies (24-13, 9-11 ACC) to Worthington Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

What to Watch
Liberty enters the week fresh off a sweep of Winthrop in Big South Conference play over the weekend. With the sweep, the Flames move on top of the conference standings.
As a team, Liberty has hit .324 on the year. Six Flames are hitting .320 are better.
On Friday, Curran Redal hit safely in his 32nd straight game, setting a Big South record. The center fielder enters the week fourth in the conference in batting average with a .401 average.
Meanwhile, second baseman P.J. Jimenez's bat has heated up over the past 10 games, leading the Flames at the plate with a .433 average. With 13 hits over the time span, he has raised his average 60 points. Of his base knocks during the period, five have been doubles and one a home run.
Longwood dropped all four of its games over the weekend at LeMoyne. The independent Lancers have won four of their last 10 contests. As a team, Longwood is hitting .332, with seven hitters over .300.
Left fielder David Smiy, Jr. paces the Lancers with a .391 batting average. Catcher Jonathan Quigley leads Longwood with 38 RBIs. He also has hit .355 with seven home runs and 10 doubles on the season.
Virginia Tech begins the week, having taken two-of-three games from Clemson in an ACC series. The Hokies have won nine out of their last 10 games and will host William & Mary, Tuesday, before meeting the Flames, Wednesday. As a team, Virginia Tech is hitting .327 beginning the week.
Outfielder Steve Domecus leads the Hokies with a .410 batting average and 40 RBIs. Shortstop Austin Wates is hitting .357.

The Coaches
Liberty Head Coach Jim Toman is in his second year at the helm of the Flames. In this first season at Liberty, he guided the Flames to a 35-26-1 mark, the best record by a Liberty team under a first-year coach in program history. This season, he got the Flames off to the second-best start in the history of Liberty baseball through 29 games.
A 20-year member of the college coaching ranks, he served 18 years as a member of Ray Tanner's staffs at South Carolina and N.C. State. Toman was named the 2002 Baseball America/American Baseball Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year and recruited 15 top 25 classes, including all 11 of his seasons at South Carolina. From 2003-2006, three of the four Gamecock recruiting classes were ranked first in the nation by Collegiate Baseball.
During his time in Columbia, S.C., Toman and the Gamecocks made nine NCAA Regional appearances, including eight-straight since 2000, and three-consecutive trips to the College World Series (2002-04). Add in his seven seasons at N.C. State, and Toman has helped lead 15 teams to NCAA Regional appearances.
Longwood Head Coach Buddy Bolding is in his 31st year with the Lancers. Bolding reached his 800th career coaching victory at the school on March 8, 2008, when Longwood defeated Binghamton, 6-5.
Under Bolding, Longwood posted a winning record of 34-19 during 2007, the program's 27th winning season overall and the program's 12th 30-win season. Bolding's tenure at Longwood is highlighted by six appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament, and two trips to the Division II College World Series.

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. Wednesday's contest will be on "The Light", starting 3 p.m.
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 for a nominal fee through a link on LibertyFlames.com or by going directly to BigSouthSports.com.
Live stats are available for each Liberty contest by clicking on the various Live Stats links at LibertyFlames.com.

Liberty on the Road
Liberty is 8-8 on the road this season. The Flames are also 1-1 on neutral fields.
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.

Liberty at Night
Liberty is 6-3 at night this season. The Flames are currently scheduled to play 15
games under the lights in 2009. Tuesday night at Longwood is the next night game for Liberty.
The Flames finished the 2008 campaign with an 8-4 mark at night. The Flames closed out the year by winning six out of their last seven night contests. Since 2004, Liberty has gone 24-27 under artificial lighting.

Best Big South Start
With its sweep over the weekend, the Flames are off to their best conference start in program history with a 14-3 record.
Liberty's 14 victories are just one shy of the most Big South wins in a season since the Flames started conference play in 1992. The 1995 Liberty team's 15 wins are the most ever in Big South action by a Flames team. That season, Liberty went 15-9.

Redal Breaks Big South Consecutive Game Hit Mark
Center fielder Curran Redal singled through the left side of the infield in the first inning, last Friday night against Winthrop, to hit safely in his 32nd game in a row, a new Big South record. The junior breaks the previous mark of 31-consecutive games with at least one hit, which he held with UNC Asheville shortstop Kevin Weidenbacher. The UNC Asheville shortstop set the previous record last season.
During the streak, the junior hit .452, collecting 57 hits in 126 at bats. He has also drove in all 40 of his season's RBI total over the span.

Taking One for the Team
Entering play this week, Liberty batters have been hit by a pitch 76 times this season. Flame batters have been plunked by an opposition an average of two times per game. Liberty ranked second in the nation in the category in the latest NCAA Division I statistical report, through games of April 12, with 74.
This year, Flames batters have been hit by a pitch seven times in a game twice to set a new school standard. Temple pitchers hit seven Liberty hitters on March 7 and High Point hurlers plunked seven Flames on March 22.
Last season, the Flames set a new school record by being hit by a pitch 82 times. The mark eclipsed the previous standard of 75 in the 2001 season.

Fine Fielding
Jim Toman's squad ranked No. 11 in the nation in fielding percentage with a .976 percentage in the latest NCAA Division I statistical report, for games through April 12. In addition, they start the week tops in the Big South Conference with a .977 percentage. Liberty has committed 34 errors in 1454 chances this season.
The Flames fielding percentage is 17 points higher than at the same juncture of the year, last season. Through 38 games, Liberty had made 62 errors, 28 more than this year, in 1532 chances for a .960 fielding percentage in 2008. The Flames ended the year with a .963 percentage.
The best team fielding percentage over a season in school history was set by the 2005 Flames. That season, Liberty posted a .971 fielding percentage and also committed the fewest errors in school history with 62.
Center fielder Curran Redal singled through the left side of the infield in the first inning, last Friday night against Winthrop, to hit safely in his 32nd game in a row, a new Big South record. The junior breaks the previous mark of 31-consecutive games with at least one hit, which he held with UNC Asheville shortstop Kevin Weidenbacher. The UNC Asheville shortstop set the previous record last season.
During the streak, the junior hit .452, collecting 57 hits in 126 at bats. He has also drove in all 40 of his season's RBI total over the span.

Taking One for the Team
Entering play this week, Liberty batters have been hit by a pitch 76 times this season. Flame batters have been plunked by an opposition an average of two times per game. Liberty ranked second in the nation in the category in the latest NCAA Division I statistical report, through games of April 12, with 74.
This year, Flames batters have been hit by a pitch seven times in a game twice to set a new school standard. Temple pitchers hit seven Liberty hitters on March 7 and High Point hurlers plunked seven Flames on March 22.
Last season, the Flames set a new school record by being hit by a pitch 82 times. The mark eclipsed the previous standard of 75 in the 2001 season.

Fine Fielding
Jim Toman's squad ranked No. 11 in the nation in fielding percentage with a .976 percentage in the latest NCAA Division I statistical report, for games through April 12. In addition, they start the week tops in the Big South Conference with a .977 percentage. Liberty has committed 34 errors in 1454 chances this season.
The Flames fielding percentage is 17 points higher than at the same juncture of the year, last season. Through 38 games, Liberty had made 62 errors, 28 more than this year, in 1532 chances for a .960 fielding percentage in 2008. The Flames ended the year with a .963 percentage.
The best team fielding percentage over a season in school history was set by the 2005 Flames. That season, Liberty posted a .971 fielding percentage and also committed the fewest errors in school history with 62.

A Look Ahead
Liberty travels to Boiling Springs, N.C., for a Big South Conference three-game series with the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs, Friday through Sunday. The series opens Friday at 3 p.m., followed by the middle game of the three-game set at 1 p.m. First pitch of the three-game set is slated for 1 p.m.