A three-game series against 2010 and 2011 NCAA Division I Champion South Carolina and 11 games against 2012 NCAA Regional qualifiers are part of a challenging 2013 schedule released by the Liberty baseball program, this afternoon.
Coming off a season in which the Flames posted their second 40-win campaign in three years, Liberty is slated to face NCAA Regional participants Army, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia during the 2013 season.
The Flames will open the 2013 campaign in Columbia, S.C., with a three-game series against two-time national champion and 2012 runner-up, South Carolina, Feb. 15-17. A week later, Liberty will open its 28-game home slate in its new 2,500-seat stadium with a three-game series against the Penn State Nittany Lions, Feb. 22-24.
Highlighting the non-conference portion of Liberty’s schedule are matchups with Virginia and Georgia. The Flames will travel to Charlottesville for a March 13 contest with the Cavaliers, before hosting Virginia in their new stadium on April 2. Liberty will visit Athens, Ga., March 8-10, for a three-game series against the Georgia Bulldogs.
Liberty will also play host to Big 12 member West Virginia during their Big South conference bye weekend, April 12-14. The Flames and the Mountaineers will play a three-game series in Lynchburg.
The Flames are expected to be challenged by a non-conference schedule, which also includes contests with Army, Duke, East Carolina, Elon, and Maryland, along with instate rivals, James Madison, Old Dominion, Virginia Tech and William & Mary.
Liberty will open its 2013 Big South Conference slate against Charleston Southern in Lynchburg, March 15-17. The Flames will play a total of 27 conference games.
Liberty will also host Longwood (March 29-30), Winthrop (April 19-21) and Radford (May 16-18), while traveling to High Point (March 22-24), Coastal Carolina (April 5-7), VMI (April 26-28) and Campbell (May 10-11) in conference play.
Liberty will host the 2013 Big South Baseball Championship at its new baseball facility, May 21-25. It will be the first time that the Flames will host the tournament on the Liberty University Campus. The conference champion will receive the Big South’s automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Regional play in the 2013 NCAA Tournament is scheduled for June 1-4, at sites yet to be determined.
“The schedule will be extremely difficult,” stated Liberty head coach Jim Toman. “The construction of our new baseball facility was a huge factor in attracting some great opponents to Liberty University. It’s a big opportunity for our team to play against some great competition and our fans will surely enjoy some top-notch college baseball.
“This schedule is going to challenge our team with some very worthy opponents on the road. Whenever you get the chance to play SEC and ACC teams on the road, it will surely prepare you for conference play and the postseason. Our guys will definitely be battle tested and we should get a lot of exposure for Liberty Baseball on the national level. The non-conference portion of the schedule is arguably the most difficult one any Liberty team has played.”