Liberty receives at-large bid to NCAA Baseball Tournament
The Flames, 39-14, will participate in the NCAA Knoxville, Tenn. Regional and will play the ACC Champion Duke Blue Devils in their opening round game, Friday.
The Flames and Blue Devils will meet in the first game of the day at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, starting at noon. The regional matchups and seeds were announced on ESPN2 earlier today.
Liberty will be the No. 3 seed in the regional, while Duke garners the No. 2 seed. They will be meeting for the third time this season. The Flames and Blue Devils will be joined in the regional by the host and No. 1 seed Tennessee Volunteers and No. 4 seed Wright State, the 2021 Horizon League champions. Tennessee also received the No. 3 national seed.
Liberty will make its seventh appearance in an NCAA Regional and receives its second at-large selection in the program’s history. Liberty’s last appearance in an NCAA Regional came in the 2019 NCAA Chapel Hill, N.C., Regional. The Flames garnered their first at-large selection and participated in the NCAA Charlottesville, Va. Regional in 2014.
In addition, Liberty earns a spot in an NCAA Regional for the second-straight season. It is the second time in program history that the Flames will participate in a regional in back-to-back years that the tournament has been held. In 2019, the Flames captured the ASUN title and the conference’s automatic bid to a regional. Liberty participated in the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional, defeating Tennessee in its opening game.
Under the leadership of 2021 ASUN Coach of the Year Scott Jackson, Liberty is just one win away from becoming the sixth team in program history to win 40 or more games in a season. His Flames posted a 19-2 record in ASUN play this season and are 37-9 since March 2.
Led by ASUN Pitcher of the Year Trevor Delaite and Freshman of the Year Trey Gibson, the Flames pitching staff is 10th in nation with a 3.44 ERA and sixth nationally allowing 3.6 runs per game in 2021. In the field, Liberty is second nationally with a .984 fielding percentage.
Duke has posted a 32-20 record and won the 2021 ACC Championship. The Blue Devils defeated the Flames twice during the regular season. They downed the Flames 5-4 in Durham, N.C., on March 30 and 7-0 in Lynchburg on April 20.
Liberty, who had one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country in 2021, played seven teams this season that made the 2021 NCAA Baseball Regional fields. The Flames squared off with Campbell, Duke, Jacksonville, North Carolina, TCU, VCU and Virginia.