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Liberty Baseball Heads to Maryland for Two Midweek Contests

March 14, 2011  Lynchburg, Va  RSS
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Pitcher Patrick Eckelbarger and the Flames face Maryland, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Pitcher Patrick Eckelbarger and the Flames face Maryland, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Complete Baseball Notes (Maryland)

Radio Broadcast (both days)

The Liberty Flames (8-8, 0-0 Big South) travel to College Park, Md., for a two-game series with the Maryland Terrapins (8-7, 0-3 ACC), Tuesday and Wednesday at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium.  First pitch for both games is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Last Time Out
    Starting pitcher Steven Evans handcuffed host East Carolina in his longest outing of the year, propelling the Liberty Flames to a 2-0 victory over the Pirates in the final game of the Keith LeClair Classic, Sunday afternoon. With the victory, the Flames captured the tournament title with a 3-0 record. Liberty had previously defeated Rutgers, 5-2, and Monmouth, 4-3, at the LeClair Classic.
    Evans held the Pirate hitters in check during the outing, scattering four hits over 7 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up his first victory of 2011. The left-hander struck out a season-high nine batters and walked three, running his record to 1-3 on the season. He retired the last eight batters he faced, before giving way to reliever Dane Beakler with one out in the eighth. Beakler pitched a scoreless 1 2/3 innings to earn his second save of the year. 
    The performance capped a strong weekend for Liberty pitchers. Flames pitchers had a 1.69 ERA during the weekend. Friday, right-hander Keegan Linza ran his record to 3-0 by throwing the first complete game of the year for the Flames.  Saturday, John Niggli picked up the win by allowing two runs over seven innings.
On Deck
    The Flames return home to start conference play this weekend.  Liberty will host Charleston Southern in a three-game Big South series at Worthington Stadium, Friday-Sunday.  The series gets underway Friday evening.  The first night game at Worthington this season is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Following the Flames
    Both Liberty contests against Maryland may be heard LIVE on WWMC "The Light" 90.9 FM radio and over the World Wide Web at Nick Pierce will handle the play-by-play and Doug Wallace color duties for the broadcasts.

March Musings
    With three wins on the weekend, Liberty begins the week with a 5-3 record during the month of March.  Jim Toman's squad is scheduled to play 19 games during the month and  starts Big South Conference play with a three-game series at Worthington Stadium against Charleston Southern this weekend (March 18-20).
    Liberty posted a 10-8 mark in games during March last season, including a 1-2 start to Big South Conference play. The Flames are 352-278-2 (.558) all-time in program history during the month.

Road Warriors Again in ‘11?
    The Flames have started the season, 6-6 away from home. Liberty is 4-6 in road contests and 2-0 in neutral site games.
    Liberty is slated to play 29 regular-season contests away from home.  The Flames will square off with 27 of their opponents on their home field, while meeting two teams, Rutgers and Monmouth, on a neutral field during the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C., March 11-13.  
    The Flames went 21-10 away from their home, Worthington Stadium, in 2010.  Liberty posted the 10th-best road mark in the nation during the year. The Flames went 18-8 in road games and 3-2 in neutral site contests during the year. Liberty won six consecutive road contests to open the 2010 season.

Get Your Running Shoes On
    What a difference a year makes.  So far this season, Liberty has taken advantage of its team speed, doubling its stolen base total through 16 games from a year ago. The Flames have stolen 24 bases in 31 attempts this season, compared to 2010 when the Flames swiped only 11 bases in 18 tries through 16 games.
    Leading the way for the Flames is catcher Casey Rasmus who is 5-for-5 in steal attempts.  Three others, shortstop Matt Williams, right fielder Michael Robertson and center fielder Ian Parmley have each swiped four bases, thus far.  Last season, only outfielder Kenneth Negron had stolen four bases at this point in the year.