Liberty led No. 2 Wake Forest late in the game, before the Demon Deacons scored four runs in the 7th inning to secure a 7-4 victory over the Flames on Wednesday evening in Winston-Salem. With the loss, Liberty drops to 17-19 on the year and are 8-7 in ASUN play entering this weekend’s series against North Florida which begins Friday night.
The Flames currently have an RPI of 63, the highest of all ASUN members. FGCU, at No. 67, is the only other ASUN member currently ranked in the top 100 of the RPI. Despite the losing overall record, it is Liberty’s tough schedule that has kept the RPI pretty high. The team’s current strength of schedule is ranked No. 30 while the non-conference strength of schedule is No. 2.
Liberty will be looking to win a third straight ASUN series this weekend when the Flames play host to the Ospreys. UNF is currently 21-16 overall and 7-8 in conference play and 166 in RPI. North Florida has won four straight including midweek contests over South Florida (10-0) and Florida State (15-14 in 10 innings) this week.
The Flames are currently in 7th play in the 14-member ASUN and just one game ahead of the Ospreys who are in a three-way tie for 8th. Liberty is just one game out of a tie for 5th place and three games behind FGCU and Lipscomb who are currently in first at 11-4 in the ASUN.
The Ospreys currently have five members of their every day lineup batting at .300 or better. Austin Brinling leads the team with a .369 batting average. Jakob Runnels (11 home runs, 42 RBI) and Alex Lodise (10 home runs, 38 RBI) pack a potent power punch for UNF.
North Florida has a team ERA of 6.42. Stephen Halstead is one of the team’s top arms out of the bullpen, with a team low 2.04 ERA in 17.2 innings pitched. He has 6 saves in 13 appearances. Lance Bolton is another top arm out of the bullpen, with 3 saves and a 2.70 ERA with 18 appearances and 30 innings pitched.
Clayton Boroski and Peter Holden have each made 9 starts on the year for the Ospreys. Boroski has a 4.12 ERA while striking out 27 and walking 15 in 43.2 innings pitched and 12 total appearances. Holden has a 5.07 ERA while striking out 52 to just 18 walks in 55 innings.
Liberty is 14-4 all-time against the Ospreys. The three games from Liberty Baseball Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia this weekend have first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday.