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Liberty to Open 2020 Season at Clemson

February 13, 2020  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty to Open 2020 Season at Clemson

LIBERTY AT CLEMSON
Feb. 14-16
Kingsmore Stadium

Friday – 4 p.m.
Saturday – 1 p.m.
Sunday - 1 p.m.


COMPLETE BASEBALL NOTES

Television Coverage: ACC Network+  Friday   Sunday

LFSN Audio Coverage: Liberty Online Audio

Live Stats: StatsBroadcast

Quick Hits
• Liberty will open its 2020 season and begin the program's 48th year with a three-game series at Clemson, Friday-Sunday at Doug Kingmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C. The Flames will open their season on the road for the 14th out of the past 15 years.
• The Flames have posted a 27-18 mark in season openers since 1976 in program history (no records for 1974-75). Last year, Liberty defeated South Carolina 6-5 in 11 innings in its season opener.
• Friday's meeting will be the ninth meeting between Liberty and Clemson on the diamond. The contest will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2014. The Flames hold a 6-2 edge in the all-time series.
• Liberty, the defending ASUN Champion, was voted by the league's head coaches to once again win the conference in 2020. Last season, the Flames won the title in their first year in the conference and tied the school record for most wins in a single season with a 43-21 mark.

For Openers
• Friday's contest will be the 48th season opener in the history of the Liberty baseball program. The Flames, who have won their last two season openers, are 27-18 in season lid-lifters since 1976 (no records available for 1974 or 1975).

• Last year, the Flames edged South Carolina 6-5 in 11 innings at Founders Park in Columbia, S.C. Second baseman Will Wagner tied the game in the ninth with a solo home run and the Flames won it on a wild pitch in the 11th inning.

• Liberty is opening its season away from Worthington Field at Liberty Baseball Stadium for the 28th time in program history and the 14th time in the last 15 years. The Flames are 11-11 in away contests and 3-2 in neutral field openers.

2020 ASUN Preseason Poll
Pl.  Team (1st Place Votes), Points
1.    Liberty (5), 75
2.    FGCU (4), 71
3.    Stetson, 60
4.    Jacksonville, 59
5.    North Florida, 44
6.    Lipscomb, 35
7.    Kennesaw State, 34
8.    North Alabama, 13

Preseason Player of the Year: Terence Norman, Kennesaw State
Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Daniel Paret, Stetson
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Dakota Julyia, Jacksonville

4 Flames Named to Preseason ASUN All-Conference Team
Liberty second baseman Will Wagner, outfielder Gray Betts and pitchers Noah Skirrow and Garret Price were named to the ASUN Preseason All-Conference team by the conference's head coaches.

• Wagner was the only player unanimously selected to the 2020 ASUN Preseason All-Conference team. Last season, the all-conference first team  second baseman finished among the ASUN leaders in hits (third), RBI (fifth), doubles (sixth) and runs scored (tied seventh).

• Betts, an ASUN All-Freshman team and All-Tournament team member, led Liberty with a .314 batting average. The outfielder/catcher finished the year second in the conference with a .455 on base percentage.

• Skirrow posted a 5-6 record with a 3.76 ERA over 76 2/3 innings in 2019. He struck out 98, finishing fourth in the ASUN, while leading the conference with strikeout rate of 11.5 Ks per nine innings.

• Price posted a 7-3 record with three saves and a 3.15 ERA over 65 2/3 innings in 2019. He completed the year among the ASUN leaders in appearances (second), wins (third), ERA (fifth) and strikeouts per nine innings (fifth).

Price Among All-Time Top 10
Liberty right-hander Garret Price enters the 2020 season already among the program's top 10 in appearances and striketouts and is poised to enter the top 10 on the all-time win list.

• Price, who was named to the 2020 ASUN Preseason All-Conference team, is already eighth all-time with 73 appearances. The senior reliever needs six more appearances to tie Alex Dooley (1999-02) for the all-time lead with 79.

• The senior is also 10th all-time with 203 strikeouts. He needs nine more to pass Randy Tomlin (1986-88) for ninth on the list. Mike Brown (1994-97) holds the program career record with 287.

• With a 19-8 career record, Price needs two more wins to move into the Flames' career wins Top 10. Four former Flames are tied for ninth with 21 victories.

16 Flames  Return for 2020
Liberty returns nine of 11 pitchers and six position starters from last year's ASUN Championship team for 2020. Of the nine returning pitchers, the Flames will welcome back starting pitchers Mason Meyer, Noah Skirrow and Joe Adametz III. The three started 74% of Liberty's contests and were the backbone of a mound staff that lead the ASUN with a 3.63 team ERA. In addition, reliever Garret Price returners for his senior season after posting a career-low 3.15 ERA in 29 appearances.

Meanwhile, in the field, the Flames return their double play combination of second baseman Will Wagner and shortstop Cam Locklear, along with all three starting outfielders Gray Betts, Jaylen Guy and Brandon Rohrer. Wagner earned 2019 ASUN All-Conference honors, while Locklear enjoyed career highs in RBI (42) and on base percentage (.375). Rohrer hit .311, while Betts finished second in the ASUN in on base percentage (.455) and solidified the Flames' lineup after taking over in left field at the end of March.