The 2013 season will be the second year of play at John W. Smithson Field on the Maguire Campus. The opening of the new field coincided with SJU’s first-ever Atlantic 10 Championship berth and the Hawks’ first Liberty Bell Classic title. Hamburg believes this year’s slate puts the Hawks on the right path toward repeating those feats.
“We look forward to defending the Liberty Bell Classic championship and feel that our early-season games will certainly prepare us for another strong run at our first Atlantic 10 championship,” he said.
Opening Day, February 15, finds the Hawks in DeLand, Florida, for a three-game set at Stetson. Saint Joseph’s travels to new Atlantic 10 member VCU the following weekend for a series that will not count in the conference standings.
The Hawks will make their annual Spring Break trip a week later, playing four games against Mississippi State and two at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, to conclude a challenging season-opening road trip.
“Our players and coaches are really looking forward to the upcoming season,” Hamburg said. “We are certainly going to be challenged out of the gates, but I believe these early weekends will give us a strong reference point as to how far we’ve come as a program.
“I feel confident that our returning nucleus and new guys are ready for the challenge,” he concluded. “To finally have the opportunity to be on Smithson Field for the entire fall has been very beneficial for our growth.”
The Hawks will play the first home contest of the second season on their new turf on March 8 against Central Connecticut. SJU will also host Iona, Marist, Wagner, Villanova, and Penn State during the first homestand of the season.
A road game at Bucknell leads into the first conference series of the slate as the Hawks head to Ambler for a weekend set at rival Temple in the Owls’ final season in the Atlantic 10.
The defending Liberty Bell Classic champions, the Hawks begin the defense of their title on March 26 when they travel to Delaware for a quarterfinal game. A second round matchup against Temple or Lehigh will be played at Smithson Field on April 2, while the championship game at Citizens Bank Park is tentatively slated for the evening of April 16.
After the game with Delaware, the Hawks will host Fordham in an Atlantic 10 series on Easter weekend before St. Bonaventure comes to town a week later. Both teams have a bye week in the conference schedule, and the games will not count towards conference records.
A midweek game at Delaware State precedes a weekend series at home against conference and city rival La Salle. That series is followed by consecutive road conference matchups with Richmond and Massachusetts sandwiched around a home midweek contest with Delaware.
After a midweek game at Rider closes out the non-conference portion of the schedule, the Hawks will play their final three conferences series at home against Xavier, at Saint Louis, and at home against Rhode Island.
The Atlantic 10 Championship will take place between May 22 and 25 at Charlotte’s Robert and Miriam Hayes Stadium.
Streaming audio and Gametracker will once again be available for Saint Joseph’s home games in 2013.