Western Carolina Releases 2009 College Baseball Schedule

Right-handed hurler Mike Tavernier is one of two returning All-Southern Conference players from last year's Catamount squad.

Right-handed hurler Mike Tavernier is one of two returning All-Southern Conference players from last year

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

Western Carolina and second-year head coach Bobby Moranda today released their 2009 baseball schedule which features seven games against five teams that made the NCAA Baseball Championship tournament a season ago. The 55-game regular season schedule includes 28 home dates with a 30-game Southern Conference slate.

The season will culminate with the annual SoCon Baseball Tournament, May 20-24 at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, S.C., the home of the Greenville Drive, the Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Opened in April of 2006, Fluor Field has similar dimensions as Fenway Park in Boston, including a 30-foot “Green Monster” in left field – seven feet shorter than its namesake.

“We are looking forward to a challenging non-conference schedule which includes a road trip to California, as well as regional rivals such as Tennessee, Georgia Tech and the annual home-and-home with perennial powerhouse, Clemson.” said Moranda. “The strength of our non-conference slate will help us better prepare for another strong season in Southern Conference play which I feel is as tough as ever from top to bottom.”

Three of the five teams that advanced to the NCAA post-season a year ago were seeded second in their respective region including South Carolina (Feb. 24), San Diego (March 2) and Georgia Tech (April 21). The two remaining foes were number three seeds in Charlotte (April 28) and defending SoCon champion, Elon (May 8-10).

In addition to hosting the Phoenix in the final home conference series of the year, WCU will also entertain at Childress Field / Hennon Stadium arch-rival Appalachian State (March 6-8) in its conference-opening series; The Citadel, which the Catamounts have swept each of the past two seasons, on March 20-22; Georgia Southern (April 10-12) and SoCon new-comer Samford (April 17-19).

The season opens with a three-game, non-conference set against first-time opponent, Bowling Green, in Cullowhee on Friday, Feb. 20 through Sunday, Feb. 22. The Catamounts will then hit the road for five-straight games away from Cullowhee. On Feb. 24, WCU will be one of the first visiting teams to take to the new diamond in Columbia, S.C., as Western visits the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Three days later, Western will make its first-ever trip to the state of California as it faces 12-time national champion, USC in Los Angeles for three games before traveling south to face regional participant, San Diego at Cunningham Field.

Other non-conference home dates on the 2009 docket include hosting East Tennessee State twice – March 10 and May 12; a three-game set against Brigham Young, which the Catamounts faced back in 1993 in Provo, Utah (L, 12-5); and home-and-home series against Kennesaw State (March 25 and April 7) and Big South foes High Point (March 17, May 13) and UNC Asheville (March 18, April 1).

Moranda will also face his alma mater as the Catamounts host Eastern Kentucky for a single game on Wednesday, April 9 in Cullowhee.

Western will also square off against former skippers Jack Leggett and the Clemson Tigers twice within a two-day span on April 14 and 15, as well as Todd Raleigh’s Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville, mid-week on March 24.

The Catamounts’ first three road series in league play are all in the State of South Carolina including the College of Charleston (March 13-15), Wofford (March 27-29) and Furman (April 24-26). WCU will also visit UNC Greensboro (May 1-3) and Davidson (May 14-16) to wrap-up the regular season.

Western Carolina continues its fall workouts on Saturday, Oct. 11 as it will host a youth clinic beginning at 5:00 pm at the Tuscola High baseball field in Waynesville. The brief workshop will culminate with a homerun derby between Catamount sluggers, followed by an intra-squad scrimmage.

2009 College Baseball Schedule- Western Carolina