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Flames Head to Big South Championship

May 25, 2010  Rock Hill, S.C.  RSS
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Liberty senior pitcher Shawn Teufel

Liberty senior pitcher Shawn Teufel

Complete Baseball Notes (PDF)

The Championship
The No. 2 seed Liberty Flames (39-17, 19-8 Big South) travel to Rock Hill, S.C., Wednesday to open play in the 2010 Big South Baseball Championship at the Winthrop Ballpark. Liberty is the No. 2 seed for the second time in three years.
The Flames will square off Wednesday afternoon against the highest remaining seed from Tuesday's contests between the No. 5-8 seeds. First pitch Wednesday is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The remainder of the double-elimination tournament will continue Thursday through Saturday. The conference champion is scheduled to be crowned Saturday, in Game 12 or Game 13 (if necessary). The Big South Baseball Champion claims the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Baseball Regionals.

Last Time Out
The Liberty Flames could not overcome a six-run third inning by host Winthrop, falling to the Eagles, 8-5, this past Saturday in a Big South Conference contest at the Winthrop Ballpark.
Second baseman P.J. Jimenez had two hits and drove in three runs for the Flames. Curran Redal, Matt Williams and Kenneth also had two hits apiece for Liberty.

Flames on the Air
Each Liberty contest will be broadcast LIVE on WWMC 90.9 "The Light" FM by Nick Pierce and Doug Wallace during the tournament. The broadcasts can also be accessed via links at LibertyFlames.com and the lightonline.com.
In addtion, all games will be video streamed live on the Big South Network. 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. A link to the video stream will also be available at LibertyFlames.com.
Real-time "Live Stats" will be available on the Big South, Winthrop and LibertyFlames.com website free of charge.

Flames At the Big South Baseball Championship
This year's appearance marks Liberty's 14th at the Big South Baseball Championship. The Flames enter the 2010 championship having compiled a 39-22 overall record in previous tournament appearances. For the second time in three years, Liberty is the No. 2 seed for the championship.
Liberty earned the No. 2 seed in 2008, its highest seed since being the No. 1 seed in 2000. That season, the Flames made their third consecutive championship game appearance, forcing Coastal Carolina to a second game for the championship. The Flames set a a Big South Championship mark in 2008, scoring 55 runs over the Flames' six contests in the the tournament.
Last season, Liberty entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed. The Flames won their first two games of the double-elimination tournament, before being eliminated by dropping their next two contests.
The Flames have been the fourth seed the most often in their previous touranment appearances. In their previous 13 championship appearances, the Flames have been the top seed twice (2000, 1998), the No. 2 seed once (2008), the No. 3 seed three times (2008, 2007, 2001), the No. 4 seed four times (2005, 2002, 1999, 1997), the No. 5 seed once (2006), and the No. 6 seed twice (2003, 1993).

May Musings
Liberty is 9-5 in May, with a 6-5 record in Big South play. Liberty went 4-7 in the month of May last season, including a 1-5 mark in Big South play.
The Flames are 159-124-3 (.561) all-time, including Big South Championship appearances and three NCAA Regional appearances, during May. Liberty has gone 116-93-3 in regular season games during the month.

Home Sweet Home
For the past 32 years, the Flames have called Worthington Stadium home. Named for program architect and the first Liberty head baseball coach, Al Worthington, Liberty has compiled an impressive 524-238-5 record at the stadium for a winning percentage of .686 since the facility's inception in 1979.
The Flames posted a 19-9 record at Worthington this season. Liberty finished the 2009 regular season with a 19-5 record at the facility and are 49-26-1 at home under three-year head coach Jim Toman's guidance.

Flames on the Road
Liberty finished the regular season with a 18-8 mark on the road this season. Liberty is also 2-0 in contests on neutral fields.
Head Coach Jim Toman's team finished 2009 with a 11-13 final road ledger. The Flames also compiled a 3-3 record on neutral fields.

Liberty at Night
Liberty went 5-5 during the regular season in night contests. The Flames went 8-7 at night last season.

Closing in on Season Win Mark
The Flames begin the week with 39 wins, one shy of the school record of 40 victories, reached by the 1983 Liberty squad which posted a 40-17 mark. It is the only time in the 37-year history of the program that a Flames team won 40 games.
The Liberty's 39 wins tie the 2006 Flames sqaud for the most in program history at the NCAA Division I level. In 2006, Liberty posted a 39-21 record.

Flames Reach 30 Wins
With an 11-2 victory over the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs on April 30, Liberty has won 30 or more games in a season for the sixth consecutive year, and each of the first three years under head coach Jim Toman. It is the first time in the 37-year history of the program, the Flames have won 30 or more games six-straight years.
Last season, the Flames posted a 33-21 mark to record its fifth-straight season of 30 wins or more. It was the first time Liberty had accomplished the five-year feat.
Before 2008, the Liberty baseball program had won 30 or more games in a season three consecutive years. The Flames won 30 or more contests three consecutive seasons from 2000-02.

Flames Post Big South Win Streak
This season, Liberty posted the longest Big South winning streak in program history, with 15-straight victories. The streak, which ran from March 27 to May 14, eclipsed the 2001 Liberty team, which won 10-straight Big South games.

New Big South Victory Record
With 19 Big South victories, the 2010 Flames have recorded the most conference wins ever by a Liberty baseball team since joining the Big South in 1992. The mark surpasses last season's 17 wins, which eclipsed the 1995 Liberty squad's 15 conference wins.

Baseball in the Commonwealth
Thirteen Division I baseball teams call the Commonwealth of Virginia home. The Flames played a slate of 15 games against opponents from the "Old Dominion State" this season, posting a 12-3 mark in games against Virginia foes. Head Coach Jim Toman's squad finished the year with 10 straight games against instate opponents.
The Flames met state squads George Mason (two times), James Madison (two times), Old Dominion (two times), VCU (two times) and Virginia Tech (one time) along with Big South Conference opponents Radford (three times) and VMI (three times) this season.

Weekend Wallop?
The Flames have posted a 32-10 record during the weekend this season. Liberty has outscored its opposition, 345-196, over the 42 weekend contests.
Head Coach Jim Toman's squad has hit .328 as a squad, while holding the opposition to a .266 batting average.

We Got Your Back
The Liberty relief corps has recorded 15 saves, the second most in program history. Only the 2000 Flames team had more, posting 18 saves behind Liberty's all-time career saves leader Josh Brey (27), who had 16.
Freshman Josh Richardson is tied for fourth in the Big South with six saves, while junior right-hander J.J. McLeod has five saves. Senior Carter Browning has recorded three saves, all three with three or more innings of relief, while bullpen workhorse Dane Beakler, who leads the Flames with 23 appearances, has earned one.
Over Liberty's last 34 games, the relief corps has allowed 28 percent (22/72) of the runners it has inherited to score. Richardson allowed only one of the 15 runners he has inherited over the span to score.

A Shout Out to the Seniors
Ten members of the Liberty roster are playing in their final games in a Liberty uniform over the next several days.
This group includes - Zane Bator, DH/RHP; Dane Beakler, RHP;Casey Brown, OF; Carter Browning, RHP; P.J. Jimenez, INF; Kenneth Negron, OF; Curran Redal, OF; Shawn Teufel, LHP; Nathan Thompson, C; and Dustin Umberger, RHP.

Several Flames Move Up on Hit List
With 89 base hits, third baseman Tyler Bream begins the 2010 Big South Baseball Championship tied for fifth on the program's season hit list with former Flame standout Keith Butler, who had 89 in 2000.
The Liberty third baseman is five hits shy of tying Michael Just, who holds the school record for hits in season, with 94 in 2006. Bream leads the Big South Conference in hits.
Bream's teammates P.J. Jimenez and Curran Redal also find themselves in the program's Top 10 for hits in a season. Jimenez has 87 hits to rank sixth on the list, while Redal has 85 to list seventh. Jimenez ranks second in the conference in hits, while Redal is third.
Shortstop Matt Williams has 79 hits on the year and needs two hits to join the school's Top 10 list.
As a team, the Flames have hit .321, its best team batting average since 2002, when the program mark of .337 was set.

Doubles Derby
Third baseman Tyler Bream and shortstop Matt Williams are two of eight players in school history to hit 20 or more doubles in a season. Both Bream and Williams enter the week with 21 two-base hits each. The totals tie both players for third on Liberty's season list with three former Flames, Cody Brown and P.K. Keller, who both hit 21 in 2008 and Mark de Yaz who reached the total in 1981.
Outfielder Phillip Laurent holds the program season record for doubles with 27 in 2006. He is also Liberty's career two-base hit leader with 68.
The Flames have hit 140 doubles this season, surpassing last year's total of 123. The school record is 155, which was set by the 2008 Liberty squad.

Teufel on Season Wins, K List
Liberty left-hander Shawn Teufel begins the week with a 10-3 record. With 10 wins, the senior is currently tied for second on the program's season wins list with former Flames standout Lee Guetterman, who won 10 games in each of the 1980 and 81 seasons. Tuefel is one shy of right-hander Jason Jones, who won 11 contests in 2002 to top the list.
Teufel's season strikeout total of 87 also ranks eighth in program history. Former Flame Benji Miller heads the Liberty season strikeout list with 119 in 1998.

Umberger Moves Up On Innings Pitched, K List
Liberty senior right-hander Dustin Umberger enters his final Big South Championship second on the program's career innings pitched list with 315 1/3 innings. The righthander trails only former Liberty standout Lee Guetterman, who heads the program's career innings pitched list with 334 2/3.
In addition, Umberger is fourth on the school's career strikeout list with 229. Mike Brown, who pitched for the Flames from 1994-97 holds the career strikeout mark with 287.
Umberger became the 53rd pitcher in Big South Conference history to record 200 or more strikeouts on March 17, by striking out two batters at Duke. The senior became the first Flame since David Bechtold in 2005 to strike out over 200 batters. Bechtold struck out 241 hitters from 2002-05.

Taking One for the Team
In each of the past two seasons, the Flames have set a new team record for being hit by a pitch, and this season has been no different. A Liberty player has been hit by a pitch 115 times in 2010, once again setting a new program standard. The total eclipses last season's team record 95, which was set over 54 games.
The Flames rank third nationally in the category in the latest NCAA statistics, through games of May 16. Catcher Nathan Thompson has been hit 19 times to lead the Flames. The Liberty record for number of times being hit by a pitch in a season is 22, set by David Benham in 1998. Benham is also the school's career leader in the category, as the catcher s hit 55 from 1995-98.

We Got Your Back
The Liberty relief corps has recorded 15 saves, the second most in program history. Only the 2000 Flames team had more, posting 18 saves behind Liberty's all-time career saves leader Josh Brey (27), who had 16.
Freshman Josh Richardson is tied for fourth in the Big South with six saves, while junior right-hander J.J. McLeod has five saves. Senior Carter Browning has recorded three saves, all three with three or more innings of relief, while bullpen workhorse Dane Beakler, who leads the Flames with 23 appearances, has earned one.
Over Liberty's last 34 games, the relief corps has allowed 28 percent (22/72) of the runners it has inherited to score. Richardson allowed only one of the 15 runners he has inherited over the span to score.

A Shout Out to the Seniors
Ten members of the Liberty roster are playing in their final games in a Liberty uniform over the next several days.
This group includes - Zane Bator, DH/RHP; Dane Beakler, RHP;Casey Brown, OF; Carter Browning, RHP; P.J. Jimenez, INF; Kenneth Negron, OF; Curran Redal, OF; Shawn Teufel, LHP; Nathan Thompson, C; and Dustin Umberger, RHP.

Several Flames Move Up on Hit List
With 89 base hits, third baseman Tyler Bream begins the 2010 Big South Baseball Championship tied for fifth on the program's season hit list with former Flame standout Keith Butler, who had 89 in 2000.
The Liberty third baseman is five hits shy of tying Michael Just, who holds the school record for hits in season, with 94 in 2006. Bream leads the Big South Conference in hits.
Bream's teammates P.J. Jimenez and Curran Redal also find themselves in the program's Top 10 for hits in a season. Jimenez has 87 hits to rank sixth on the list, while Redal has 85 to list seventh. Jimenez ranks second in the conference in hits, while Redal is third.
Shortstop Matt Williams has 79 hits on the year and needs two hits to join the school's Top 10 list.
As a team, the Flames have hit .321, its best team batting average since 2002, when the program mark of .337 was set.

Doubles Derby
Third baseman Tyler Bream and shortstop Matt Williams are two of eight players in school history to hit 20 or more doubles in a season. Both Bream and Williams enter the week with 21 two-base hits each. The totals tie both players for third on Liberty's season list with three former Flames, Cody Brown and P.K. Keller, who both hit 21 in 2008 and Mark de Yaz who reached the total in 1981.
Outfielder Phillip Laurent holds the program season record for doubles with 27 in 2006. He is also Liberty's career two-base hit leader with 68.
The Flames have hit 140 doubles this season, surpassing last year's total of 123. The school record is 155, which was set by the 2008 Liberty squad.

Teufel on Season Wins, K List
Liberty left-hander Shawn Teufel begins the week with a 10-3 record. With 10 wins, the senior is currently tied for second on the program's season wins list with former Flames standout Lee Guetterman, who won 10 games in each of the 1980 and 81 seasons. Tuefel is one shy of right-hander Jason Jones, who won 11 contests in 2002 to top the list.
Teufel's season strikeout total of 87 also ranks eighth in program history. Former Flame Benji Miller heads the Liberty season strikeout list with 119 in 1998.

Umberger Moves Up On Innings Pitched, K List
Liberty senior right-hander Dustin Umberger enters his final Big South Championship second on the program's career innings pitched list with 315 1/3 innings. The righthander trails only former Liberty standout Lee Guetterman, who heads the program's career innings pitched list with 334 2/3.
In addition, Umberger is fourth on the school's career strikeout list with 229. Mike Brown, who pitched for the Flames from 1994-97 holds the career strikeout mark with 287.
Umberger became the 53rd pitcher in Big South Conference history to record 200 or more strikeouts on March 17, by striking out two batters at Duke. The senior became the first Flame since David Bechtold in 2005 to strike out over 200 batters. Bechtold struck out 241 hitters from 2002-05.

Taking One for the Team
In each of the past two seasons, the Flames have set a new team record for being hit by a pitch, and this season has been no different. A Liberty player has been hit by a pitch 115 times in 2010, once again setting a new program standard. The total eclipses last season's team record 95, which was set over 54 games.
The Flames rank third nationally in the category in the latest NCAA statistics, through games of May 16. Catcher Nathan Thompson has been hit 19 times to lead the Flames. The Liberty record for number of times being hit by a pitch in a season is 22, set by David Benham in 1998. Benham is also the school's career leader in the category, as the catcher s hit 55 from 1995-98.

Turning Two
Liberty has turned 56 double plays this season, and ranks 27th nationally in double plays in the last NCAA Statistical Report for games through May 16. The Flames total eclipsed last year's season total of 36, recorded over 54 games. The program season record is 77 double plays, set by the 1998 squad.
In addition, the Liberty Flames turned five ground balls into double plays during their 9-1 win over St. John's on March 12. The five double plays turned by the Liberty infield are the most in a game by the Flames over the past 11 seasons. In 2008, the Flames turned four double plays in a game twice. The contest happened a week apart, as Liberty had four double plays in an 11-5 win over Army, March 8. A week later, the Flames recorded four double plays in a 5-0 loss at Southern Miss, March 15. Liberty also turned four double plays this season in a 6-3 victory over Lehigh on Feb. 27.

A Flame Home Run = A Win
Of its 39 victories this season, Liberty has hit at least one home run in 27 or 69 percent of the time. The Flames are 27-4 when homering in a game this season.

How About Jimenez
Second baseman P.J. Jimenez is puttng together quite a year for his final season in a Liberty uniform.
The senior enters the week among the Big South leaders in several offensive categories. Jimenez ranks third in the conference with a .383 batting average and second with 87 hits. Also, his 56 runs scored is tied for fifth.
This season, the second baseman is one of three Flames to have played in every Liberty contest. He leads the Flames in batting average, raising his average from .271 last season to .383 this year. Jimenez has 27 multiple-hit games, including 11 three-hit contests.
In the field, he has made five errors in 273 chances for a .982 fielding percentage, equaling his fielding percentage of a season ago. Last season, Jimenez had 223 chances in the field.