For the fourth consecutive season, the Liberty Flames have been selected to win the ASUN Conference. In addition, Flames pitcher Garrett Horn was named the 2023 ASUN Preseason Pitcher of the Year and to the Preseason All-Conference team, as the conference office released the poll and the team Thursday afternoon.
Liberty garnered the top spot in the poll, receiving 10 out of the possible 14 first-place votes and 191 points overall. 2022 ASUN Champion Kennesaw State was selected second with two first-place votes and 173 points, while FGCU also picked up two first-place votes and finished third in the poll with 161 points.
Last season, the Flames obtained their third consecutive selection to an NCAA Regional. Liberty secured an NCAA at-large bid in 2022 and competed at the NCAA Gainesville, Fla. Regional, finishing the year with a 37-23 record. The Flames finished the 2022 regular season in first place in the ASUN Conference’s East Division, and for the third time in as many seasons in the league, the Flames played for the conference title.
Horn was named to two Freshman All-American teams and was selected to the ASUN All-Conference second team in his first season at Liberty in 2022. The left-hander posted a 6-1 record with a 1.93 ERA over 51.1 innings. In 13 appearances and seven starts, he struck out 80 and walked 24 while holding opponents to a .167 batting average.
The Kernersville, N.C., native finished the year ninth in the ASUN Conference in strikeouts and fifth in wins. Horn was named the ASUN Pitcher of the Week for April 18.
The 14-team ASUN Conference will play a 30-game regular season schedule with the top six teams, based on ASUN winning percentage, automatically qualifying for the ASUN Tournament. Two more teams will qualify based on the highest NCAA RPI of the remaining teams.
The 2023 ASUN Baseball Championship will be played May 23-27 in DeLand, Fla. The Championship will feature pool play with seeds 1-4 in Pool A and seeds 5-8 in Pool B. The top three teams in Pool A and the top team in Pool B will then meet in the semifinals, with the winners playing for the ASUN Championship. The ASUN Champion claims the conference’s automatic bid to a 2023 NCAA Regional.
Liberty will open the season on February 17 with a three game series at No. 18 Southern Miss. The Flames’ home opener is on Wednesday, March 1 against Longwood.
2023 ASUN Baseball Preseason Poll
Pl. Team (1st Place Votes) Points
- Liberty (10), 191
- Kennesaw State (2), 173
- FGCU (2), 161
- Lipscomb, 142
- Eastern Kentucky, 134
- Stetson, 117
- Jacksonville State, 116
- Jacksonville, 114
- North Florida, 90
- Central Arkanas, 84
- Austin Peay, 60
- North Alabama, 34
- Bellarmine, 29
- Queens, 25
Preseason Player of the Year: Alejandro Figueredo, FGCU
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Caleb Ketchup, Lipscomb
Preseason Pitcher of the Year: Garrett Horn, Liberty
ASUN Preseason Baseball All-Conference Team
Pos. Name School
SP AJ Causey, Jacksonville State
SP Garrett Horn, Liberty
SP Mikchael Dunkelberger, Lipscomb
RP Bryce Fisher, Jacksonville
RP Matthew Bohnert, Lipscomb
C Will King, Eastern Kentucky
1B Joe Kinker, FGCU
2B Zac Corbin, Kennesaw State
3B Alejandro Figueredo, FGCU
SS Caleb Ketchup, Lipscomb
OF Brian Ellis, FGCU
OF Harrison Povey, FGCU
OF T.J. Reeves, Jacksonville State
DH Evan Hafley, Central Arkansas