baseballBaseball off to 2-1 start
Liberty’s baseball team began their season last weekend as part of the Atlanta Challenge. After losing the season opener, 11-9, to Kennesaw State, the Flames rebounded by sweeping a double-header against Georgia State on Saturday. Liberty was led by catcher Becker Sankey, who was selected as the Big South Player of the Week, after batting .500 with 2 homeruns, 5 RBIs, and 4 runs. Sankey’s pinch hit, 3-run homerun in the 9th inning of game 1 against Georgia State tied the game as Liberty went on to win in extra innings.

Liberty is ranked as high as #24 in national top 25 polls. The Flames are in Greenville, North Carolina to take part in the Keith LeClair Classic this weekend. LU will face St John’s at 3:30 and UNC Greensboro at 7 on Saturday and East Carolina at 2:30 on Sunday.

Men’s Hoops update
Hopefully you guys felt all warm and tingly inside from the win over Campbell last week because the last two games have been the exact opposite. First the worst regular season conference loss in school history against Coastal (40-point margin) then losing to Longwood at home for the first time in 27 years. Thankfully there’s less than 2 weeks and only 4 games left this season.

Women’s Hoops update
With road wins over Presbyterian and Longwood, the Lady Flames clinched the #1 seed in the Big South Tournament. Liberty is 20-6 overall and 16-1 in Big South play. The Lady Flames have now won 20 or more games for 8 consecutive years. Liberty has failed to reach the 20 win plateau just twice in the last 19 years, and in those 2 seasons the Lady Flames won 18 and 19 games, respectively. We take it for granted, but this run of excellence is RIDICULOUS. ESPN’s Charlie Crème currently predicts Liberty as a 14 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Interview with Jeff Barber
We had the opportunity to speak with Liberty athletic director Jeff Barber this week. We discussed a number of topics including upgrades at Williams Stadium (new video board and turf), phase 2 of the stadium expansion, Coach Gill’s contract, etc. Look for updated stories on these topics, based on our conversation with Jeff, over the next several days.

Jacob Hagen top NFL prospect in Big South
According to @joshnfldraft who is an NFLPA Bowl small school and east coast scout consultant, Liberty’s Jacob Hagen is the top NFL prospect in the Big South. Hagen has been projected as being drafted in the 7th round or signing as an undrafted free agent. The NFL Draft is April 30th – May 2nd.

Other sports

  • The softball team had a nice showing in the Dot Richardson Invitational last week, finishing the weekend with a 3-2 record. This included a 5-2 win over Arkansas, the program’s first ever win over an SEC opponent. Some more tough competition this weekend as the Lady Flames will face Illinois State, #1 Florida, Mercer, and Kansas as part of the Aquafina Invitational in Gainesville, Florida.
  • The women’s lacrosse team lost to Navy and Vanderbilt last weekend.
  • The women’s tennis team have won 5 straight and sports a 7-1 record this season after defeating James Madison on Saturday.

FlameFans thread of the week
Our long-time running weather thread, Run to Walmart, has been active this week with the snowstorm. It’s always an entertaining thread when active!