Pitcher John Niggli is one of 16 returning players from last year's Flames baseball team.
The Liberty baseball team will conduct its first official team practice for the 2012 season Friday afternoon. The Flames will practice each day, except Mondays, at Worthington Stadium through the start of the season on Feb. 17. The team will hold intrasquad scrimmages this Saturday at 1:45 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Scrimmages will be held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during the preseason workouts. All practices are open to the public. This season will be the last season for the Flames at Worthington Stadium, as a new facility for the program is planned to be completed for the 2013 season. Liberty will open its fifth year under head coach Jim Toman with a mix of 16 newcomers and 16 returners from last year's roster on the team. After seeing a school-record seven players drafted in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft, the Flames will have plenty of new faces in the lineup in 2012. Liberty, which posted a 35-24 record last year, will open its 2012 campaign on Feb. 17 at the Citadel Challenge at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C. The Flames will face the Richmond Spiders in the season opener, scheduled for Noon. The Flames will open their final home schedule at Worthington Stadium on Feb. 21. Liberty will host the Radford Highlanders in a nonconference contest at 3 p.m. The game is the first of a five-game homestand, as the Flames will host the Siena Saints for a four-game weekend series, beginning Feb. 24.
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