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Liberty to Host 2018 Big South Baseball Championship, Beginning Tuesday

May 21, 2018  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty to Host 2018 Big South Baseball Championship, Beginning Tuesday

May 22-26
Liberty Baseball Stadium
Lynchburg, Va.


2018 Big South Baseball Championship Central
(Game times, Broadcast links, Live Stats)

LFSN Radio Coverage: ESPN 93.3 FM/1320 AM

Quick Hits
• Liberty finished third in the 2018 Big South regular season standings with a 17-10 record and enters the week with a 29-24 overall record. The Flames have won three of their last four contests.
• The Flames will be making their 22nd appearance at the Big South Baseball Championship. Liberty is the tournament's No. 3 seed and will play the No. 6 seed Radford in Game 2 on Tuesday.
• The Liberty Baseball Stadium is hosting the Big South Baseball Championship for the second time in its six-year history. The stadium hosted the tournament in 2013, with the host Flames winning the title.
• The Flames have won four Big South titles, with the last one coming in 2013. Liberty is 58-34 overall all-time at the tournament.
• Liberty is in its second season under Head Coach Scott Jackson. He has led the Flames  to a 61-47 record during his two seasons.

Tournament Preview with Head Coach Scott Jackson
LFSN's Nick Pierce, the voice of Liberty Baseball, caught up with Liberty Head Coach Scott Jackson to take a look at this week's Big South Baseball Championship. Their conversation is above.

Artis Continues to Make Mark on Program History
On May 12, junior outfielder D.J. Artis became one of only three players in Liberty history with over 200 hits, 165 runs scored and 65 stolen bases during their career.

Artis enters the week tied for second in program history with 171 career runs scored. He is eight shy of tying Pat Sipe (1983-86), who scored 179 during his career. The outfielder has scored 59 runs, surpassing his personal single-season high of 57 runs scored on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, the junior set a new personal single-season high for stolen bases with 25. He  swiped 23 in each of his first two seasons as a Flames. With 71 career steals, the Greensboro, N.C., native is one stolen base shy of tying Larry Wayne York (2000-03) for second all-time with 72 steals. The junior already holds the program record with 116 career walks.

Currently, Artis has reached base in 66 straight games. The streak is the longest active streak  in the nation. The last time the junior failed to reach base in a contest came on May 2, 2017  at Virginia. He did not start the game and was unable to reach base in a pinch hit appearance. In addition, Artis has reached base in 97 consecutive starts.

Todd, Artis Among National Leaders
Tre Todd enters the weekend as the national leader in bases on balls with 59, while teammate D.J. Artis is 16th with 47. Todd has drawn 1.11 bases on balls per game which also tops the nation. Artis led the nation in walks last season with 62, a Liberty program record.

The Big South leader in on base percentage, Todd entered the week 13th nationally with a .492 OBP.  In addition, the Deptford, N.J. native leads the conference in slugging percentage (.578). He is also among the conference leaders in batting average (seventh), runs scored (ninth), triples (tied seventh) and home runs (fourth).

Meanwhile, Artis leads the Big South with 59 runs scored and is 18th nationally.  He is tied for the Big South lead in doubles with 15 and is second in stolen bases. The outfielder is also among the conference leaders in on base percentage (third) and triples (tied third).

Tarantola Garners Big South Pitcher of the Week Honors
Left-hander  Vinnie Tarantola has been named the Big South Starting Pitcher of the Week for games played May 14-20.

Tarantola tossed a season-high six complete innings on Saturday, recording the victory in Liberty's 5-1 win at Winthrop. In his third start of the season and last regular season game in a Liberty uniform, the senior did not allow a run, striking out a career-high seven batters. He held the Eagles without a hit until the fourth and did not permit a runner past first base.

The Tucson, Ariz., native enters the week with a 1-1 record and a 4.20 ERA in a team-high 21 appearances. The left-hander has struck out 37 and walked 28 in 45 innings in 2018.

Tarantola is the second Flames pitcher to be selected Big South Pitcher of the Week this season. Right-hander Garret Price was named the Big South Pitcher of the Week for games played April 2-6.

Around the Diamond

  • C Five of Jonathan Embry's last nine hits have gone for extra bases. He has collected 18 total bases with two doubles, two triples and a home run.
  • 1B Dylan Allen went 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored in Liberty's 11-2 win over Winthrop on Friday. Allen belted his third home run of the season in the victory.
  • 2B Ben Highfill had two hits and a RBI and made several outstanding defensive plays in Liberty's win at Winthrop on Friday.
  • 3B Tyler Galazin has driven in a team-high 10 runs in his last 10 games.
  • SS Cam Locklear has hit .308 over his last 10 games, scoring five times. He hit his fourth home run of the season, this past Friday night at Winthrop.
  • LF Tre Todd has posted a .487 batting average when putting the ball in play, this season. He is three base on balls shy of tying teammate D.J. Artis' program record of 62 walks in a season.
  • CF D.J. Artis has hit .351  in his last 10 games.  Over the span, Artis has posted a .529 on base percentage.
  • RF Brandon Rohrer has hit .355 over his last 10 games. Rohrer hit his third home run of the season and drove in a career-high three runs in the Flames' 5-1 win at Winthrop on Saturday.
  • DH Ayden Karraker  had two hits and scored a season-high three runs in Liberty's 11-10 win over Radford on May 13.
  • P Zach Clinton and Garret Price enter the weekend tied for second in the Big South with six wins. Neither pitcher recorded a victory in his last outing.
  • RP Jackson Bertsch allowed one hit, striking out four, over three innings of relief at Winthrop, Thursday. The senior has posted a 2.12 ERA with 42 strikeouts and seven walks over 29 2/3  innings as a reliever.