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Flames No. 3 Seed for Baseball Championship

May 16, 2009  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Shortstop Matt Williams is greeted after scoring a run earlier this season.  The Flames are the No. 3 seed for the upcoming Big South Championship.

Shortstop Matt Williams is greeted after scoring a run earlier this season. The Flames are the No. 3 seed for the upcoming Big South Championship.

The Liberty Flames are the No. 3 seed for the 2009 Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship, which will be contested May 19-23 at McCormick Field in Asheville, N.C.

Liberty completed its conference season with a 17-9 Big South record to finish third in the league's standings. The Flames' 17 victories were the most by a Liberty team since joining the conference in 1992. Head coach Jim Toman's squad completed the regular season with a 31-19 mark. The Flames, the tournament runner-ups the past three seasons, will open the double-elimination Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. against the No. 4 seed Radford Highlanders. The Highlanders completed the regular season with a 16-9 Big South mark and a 25-22 overall record.

Coastal Carolina captured the No. 1 seed by winning the outright 2009 regular-season championship with a 21-5 conference record. Winthrop secured the No. 2 seed with its record of 18-9 in Big South play. Liberty and Radford rounded out the top four seeds and will open tournament play on Wednesday.

For the third-straight year, the Big South Baseball Championship will feature eight squads competing for the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Regional. The bottom four teams will play a single-elimination game on Tuesday, May 19. The first game will feature the No. 6 seed against the No. 7 seed at 4 p.m., followed by the No. 5 seed facing the No. 8 seed at 7 p.m.

New conference member Gardner-Webb will enter its first Big South baseball tournament as the No. 5 seed, and will face No. 8 seed VMI. High Point captured the No. 6 seed and will meet No. 7 seed Charleston Southern. VMI and Charleston Southern tied for seventh in the league standings with identical 10-15 records, but the Buccaneers earned the higher seed due to its two games-to- one series win over the Keydets. Tournament host UNC Asheville did not qualify for the championship with its 10th-place finish this season. New member Presbyterian closed out the campaign in ninth-place at 7-19, but is not eligible for the Big South Baseball Championship until 2012 due to its transition to Division I.

Tuesday's winners will advance to the main double-elimination bracket, with the lowest remaining seed playing No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. The highest remaining seed facing No. 2 seed Winthrop at 3 p.m. The Liberty-Radford will complete Wednesday's action at 7 p.m. Last season, the No. 6 seed (Radford) and No. 8 seed (UNC Asheville) advanced to the main bracket. In addition to the start of main bracket play Wednesday, the Big South will announce the 2009 All-Conference teams in an on-field ceremony prior to the 7 p.m. contest.

The championship will continue with Games 4-6 on Thursday, May 21, Games 7-9 on Friday, May 22 and the championship game on Saturday, May 23 at 1 p.m. CMT country music artist Matt Stillwell will sing the National Anthem prior to Saturday's title game.

The complete conference championship schedule appears below, and all games will be video streamed live on the league's premium content web site, The Big South EDGE presented by State Farm. Tournament games will be available daily via the $6.95 Day Pass -- which covers all games played that respective day -- or the $19.95 Full Championship Pass, which features the tournament in its entirety.

90.9 FM "The Light" radio will broadcast each game involving the Flames throughout the 2009 Big South Championship. Audio links will be available at LibertyFlames.com or at the lightonline.com. In addition, real-time "Live Stats" will be available on both the league's , UNC Asheville's website or LibertyFlames.com free of charge.

Tuesday, May 19 (Games A-B)
Game A: No. 6 seed High Point vs. No. 7 seed Charleston Southern, 4 p.m.
Game B: No. 5 seed Gardner-Webb vs. No. 8 seed VMI, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 20 (Games 1-3)
Game 1: No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina vs. lowest remaining seed, 11 a.m.
Game 2: No. 2 seed Winthrop vs. highest remaining seed, 3 p.m.
Game 3: No. 3 seed Liberty vs. No. 4 seed Radford, 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 21 (Games 4-6)
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 11 a.m.
Game 5: Loser Game 3 vs. Winner Game 1, 3 p.m.
Game 6: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 22 (Games 7-9)
Game 7: TBA vs. TBA, 11 a.m.
Game 8: TBA vs. TBA, 3 p.m.
Game 9: TBA vs. TBA, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 23 (Games 10-11)
Game 10: Championship Game, 1 p.m.
Game 11: If necessary, Championship Game (immediately following Game 10)