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Liberty to Square off with North Florida in Four-Game Weekend Series

February 23, 2011  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Senior reliever J.J. McLeod and the Flames travel to North Florida for a four-game series with the Ospreys.

Senior reliever J.J. McLeod and the Flames travel to North Florida for a four-game series with the Ospreys.

Complete Baseball Notes (North Florida)

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The Liberty Flames (1-3) travel to Jacksonville, Fla., for a four-game, nonconference weekend series against the North Florida Ospreys (2-1), Friday-Sunday at Harmon Field.
The series opens Friday, with Liberty's first night contest of the season at 7 p.m. Saturday, the Flames and the Ospreys will meet in a doubleheader, with the first game scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. The series closes on Sunday, with a single game at 1 p.m.

Last Time Out
Liberty picked up its first victory of the year, a 5-4 win over host Mercer, last Sunday at Claude Smith Field. The Flames broke a tie contest with a run in the seventh inning, and reliever Josh Richardson shut down the Mercer bats the rest of the way to seal the win.
In the top of the seventh inning, catcher Casey Rasmus stole third base and scored the go ahead run with two outs, when reliever David Teasley's throw on a pick-off attempt hit pinch runner Tony McClendon in the helmet and bounced away from the first baseman down the right field line.
Richardson then took over, being summoned from the bullpen with a runner on second and one out in the seventh. After stranding that Bear runner, the sophomore stranded a Mercer runner at second base in the eighth inning and pitched a perfect ninth to seal the win and earn his first save of the year. Reliever Garrett Baker pitched a scoreless inning of relief to run his record to 1-0 on the season.

On Deck
The Flames will complete their nine-game, season-opening road swing, with a short trip to Blacksburg, Va., Wednesday for a contest with the Virginia Tech Hokies. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. at English Field.
Next weekend, Liberty opens its 2011 home schedule, with a four-game series with the Binghamton Bearcats. The series opens Friday at Worthington Stadium. Game time is slated for 3 p.m.

Following the Flames
All four games of the series between the Flames and Ospreys may be heard LIVE over the World Wide Web via a audio web broadcast at Saturday's second game and Sunday's contest will also be on WWMC 90.9 "The Light". Nick Pierce will handle the play-by-play and Doug Wallace color duties for each of the broadcasts.

All-Time Series Against North Florida
This weekend's series between the Flames and the Ospreys will be the only the second time, the two squads have meet on the diamond.
Liberty took the only previous meeting between the two schools on the baseball diamond on March 13, 1996 in Jacksonville. The Flames, led by head coach Johnny Hunton, took the contest, 3-2.

Season-long Road Trip Starts Year
Currently, the Flames are in the midst of a season-long nine game road trip to open the 2011 season. Liberty travels to Mercer, North Florida and Virginia Tech for games to begin the year. The Flames will travel 2,314 miles for contests during the road swing. Its trip to Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend, for a four-game series with North Florida is the longest of the year for head coach Jim Toman's squad.

Road Warriors Again in ‘11?
The Flames went 21-8 away from their home, Worthington Stadium, in 2010. Liberty posted the 10th-best road mark in the nation during the year, with a 21-10 record. 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.
This year, the Flames have started the season, 1-3 away from home. 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.  

First Night Game on Tap
Liberty's Friday contest will be the first night game of the year for the Flames. Liberty is scheduled to play 17 games under the stars this season.
Last season, the Flames posted a 5-6 record in night contests.

Williams Off to Strong Start
Liberty shortstop Matt Williams started his year on a high note, last weekend. The junior hit a team-high .533 with a double, triple, two runs scored and three RBIs during the Flames' season-opening series at Mercer.
Williams was one of two Flames to collect four hits in a contest last weekend. The shortstop went 4-for-5 in game two of a doubleheader, Saturday. Designated hitter Ian Parmley also had four hits in his first game in a Liberty uniform, last Friday.