With the Major League Baseball Draft putting a cap on the 2016 Liberty baseball season, LFSN's Nick Pierce was able to catch up with Flames' head coach Jim Toman for a look back at the year.
Entering the 2016 Big South Baseball Championship as the No. 7 seed, the Flames ran off three consecutive victories to advance to the conference title game for the fifth time under Toman and the eighth time in program history.
The Flames fell to College World Series participant Coastal Carolina in the lowest-scoring title contest in Big South history, 1-0, to close out the year 31-28 overall. Liberty posted a 12-12 mark in conference play, tying for sixth in the league standings.
Team Accomplishments • The Flames reached the Big South title game for the eighth time in program history and fifth time under nine-year head coach Jim Toman.
• Liberty became the first No. 7 seed in the 15-year history of the Big South's eight-team field to win its first three games.
• Liberty became the third No. 7 to advance to the Big South Baseball tournament title game.
• The Flames finished the season, winning nine out of their last 11 games to finish the year with a 31-28 year. Liberty has won 30 or more games in each of the last 12 seasons.
Individual Accomplishments Head Coach Jim Toman • Recorded career win 300 with a 9-8 victory over Marshall at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., Feb. 26.
• Only the second coach in program history to win 300 or more games.
OF D.J. Artis • Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America team
• NCBWA Freshman All-America team
• ECAC All-Star team
• Big South Freshman of the Year
• Big South All-Conference first team
• Ranked among the top 15 nationally in walks and on base percentage
• Set new Liberty single season record for walks with 52
• Led Big South in on base percentage
• Among conference leaders in batting average, hits, runs scored and stolen bases
SS Dalton Britt
• Drafted in 31st round of MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers
• Set program record for career games played (239)
• Finished career fourth on the program's career hit list (249)
• Started every game of his Liberty career
OF/1B Andrew Yacyk
• Big South All-Academic team
• 2016 NCAA Division I Academic All-District 3 team
• Big South Player of the Week for May 9-15
• Among Big South leaders in RBI and doubles
P Parker Bean
• Drafted in 36th round of MLB Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers
OF Will Shepherd
• Big South All-Tournament team
• Among Big South leaders in home runs and RBI
P Jack DeGroat
• Allowed one run on four hits over 15 innings in two games at Big South Baseball Championship
3B/OF Eric Grabowski
• Hit a grand slam, had six RBI and earned a save in win over Radford at Big South Baseball Championship
P Shane Quarterley
• Among Big South leaders in appearances, saves and games finished
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