FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
RADFORD, Va. – Games against three NCAA Regional participants from 2008, contests at five different minor league ballparks, and home outings against ACC, Big East and Conference USA opponents highlight the 2009 Radford University baseball schedule, announced today by second-year head coach Joe Raccuia.
“We are excited about our challenging 2009 schedule,” said Raccuia. “Our goal is to become an annual contender for the Big South Championship and NCAA appearance by playing a difficult schedule that helps our players understand what type of daily commitment it takes to win championships.”
Dotting the schedule are opportunities against three teams that advanced to regional play last season: 2008 Big South Champion Coastal Carolina (away, April 10-11), Virginia (neutral, March 31; away, April 15) and James Madison (home, March 18; away, March 24). Coastal Carolina, host and winner of the Conway Regional, was swept in Super Regional action by College World Series third-place finisher North Carolina. Virginia, which received an at-large bid to the field of 64, played in the Fullerton (Calif.) Regional. James Madison, champion of the Colonial Athletic Association, was slotted in the Raleigh Regional.
In addition to regional qualifiers from last season, the Highlanders will take the field at the stadiums of five different affiliated minor league clubs. Highlighting these games will be a March 31 outing against Virginia at Salem Memorial Baseball Stadium (Salem Avalanche – A Adv., Red Sox), as well as a stop at nearby Calfee Park (Pulaski Mariners – Rookie, Mariners) in Pulaski to face Marshall on May 9. Radford will also be a part of the Charleston Firefighter Memorial Challenge, hosted by The Citadel at Joseph P. Riley Park (Charleston River Dogs – A, Yankees) Feb. 27 through March 1. The Highlanders will see postseason action on a professional field, as the 2009 Big South Conference Tournament will be held May 20-24 in Asheville, N.C. at McCormick Field (Asheville Tourists – A, Rockies). Radford is also scheduled play a mid-week game at East Tennessee State on April 22 at Cardinal Field (Johnson City Cardinals – Rookie, Cardinals) in Johnson City, Tenn.
Radford also gets a pair of early-season chances at home with major-conference teams. The Highlanders will entertain Big East foe West Virginia in their home opener on March 4, and will host New River Valley rival and ACC opponent Virginia Tech on March 10. On May 10, the Highlanders will host C-USA opponent Marshall, the final game of four in 2009 against the Thundering Herd.
The Highlanders will play a total of 24 games at Radford University Baseball Field in 2009.
Opening up the season, the Highlanders will play eight straight games on the road, beginning at Alabama-Birmingham Feb. 20-22. Following the longest road swing of 2009, Radford plays eight straight at home, beginning with West Virginia on March 4 and culminating with its Big South-opening series against High Point March 13-15.
The High Point series begins a 27-game conference slate for Radford that includes a three-game home set with perennial Big South title contender Winthrop March 27-29.
Radford finished 24-32 overall (6-14, Big South) in 2008, using a 15-win turnaround from 2007 to post the program’s most wins since 2000.
2009 Radford Baseball Schedule