Lynchburg - For the second straight year, the Liberty Flames have earned a spot in the NCAA Baseball Regionals. It's the first time in the program's 41-year history the Flames have earned an at-large bid selection, last year they made it as the Big South champion. Liberty will play in the Charlottesville Regional, the Flames' first game is Friday night at 7 against Arkansas.
The Charlottesville Regional was the LAST one announced on Monday's Selection Show, Arkansas/LU the final game on the board. So there was great excitement and relief in LU's Team Room when the Flames finally saw their name pop up.
Jim Toman, LIBERTY FLAMES HEAD COACH, said "Any time you get in a regional it's kind of a burst of energy for your players. And they're excited, you can hear by the reaction that we're in, they're excited. They could have sent us to Alaska and we'd be happy."
Danny Grauer, FLAMES SENIOR CATCHER, said "They're not expecting us to win, so I think that gives us confidence, you know, other people putting us down like that kind of builds us up and gives us energy to go out there and win."
Alex Close, FLAMES JUNIOR FIRST BASEMAN, said "Charlottesville is an awesome atmosphere, they're a very good team. Arkansas's got a good team, they do every year but we're not worried about Virginia yet. We've got to focus on Arkansas first."
Top-seed Virginia will play number 4 Bucknell at 2 Friday afternoon, followed by two seed Arkansas and number 3 Liberty at 7 Friday night.
Friday's losers will play first Saturday in an elimination game, the winners meet in game two.