FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University baseball head coach Billy Jones announced his team’s 2014 schedule on Monday. The 56-game regular-season slate is perhaps the most ambitious in program history with 15 games against teams that advanced to postseason play last season (including two College World Series participants) and 17 of the 29 non-conference contests featuring opponents from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference and Big Ten.
Highlighting the schedule are 20 games at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium, where Appalachian State is 116-53-1 since the state-of-the-art facility opened in 2007. For the first time since 1979, the home slate includes two ACC opponents — Notre Dame on March 11 and Wake Forest on April 29. The home schedule also includes Southern Conference series versus UNCG (March 28-30), The Citadel (April 11-13), Davidson (April 25-27) and Furman (May 15-17). In addition to the tilts versus Notre Dame and Wake Forest, non-conference games set for Smith Stadium include a three-game series against UNC Asheville (March 7-9) and mid-week affairs versus 2013 NCAA Regional participant ETSU (March 26), High Point (April 8) and Gardner-Webb (April 23).
The 2014 campaign begins with a grueling stretch of 12-straight games away from home, 10 of which feature power-conference opponents. The season opens with four-straight games versus opponents from the SEC — three at 2013 Regional qualifier Arkansas (Feb. 14-16) and one at Tennessee (Feb. 18). That is followed by four in a row versus ACC clubs that participated in the 2013 College World Series — three at NC State (Feb. 21-23) and a mid-week tilt at North Carolina (Feb. 25). The 12-game road stint concludes with a trip to the Irish Baseball Classic at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C., featuring games versus Youngstown State (Feb. 28), Michigan (March 1) and host Notre Dame (March 2), and a neutral-site duel versus Campbell, which won 49 games a season ago, on March 5.
Other weekend journeys include a trip to former SoCon rival College of Charleston for a three-game tournament featuring Michigan (March 14), Kent State (March 15) and C of C (March 16) and SoCon series at Georgia Southern (March 21-23), Wofford (April 4-6), Elon (April 18-19), Western Carolina (May 2-4) and Samford (May 9-11). Mid-week battles against national powers Clemson (March 12), South Carolina (April 1) and Virginia Tech (April 22) and the away portion of home-and-home series with High Point (March 25), Wake Forest (April 15) and ETSU (May 13) round out the road slate.
Appalachian State’s final Southern Conference Tournament is set for May 21-25 at Riley Park in Charleston, S.C.
In all, 19 of the 27 teams that Appalachian faces in 2014 were .500 or better in 2014, including two 50-win teams (North Carolina and NC State) and eight clubs that won at least 39 contests (UNC, NC State, Campbell, South Carolina, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Arkansas and Western Carolina).
Appalachian State went 30-24 in 2013, good for its school-record seventh-straight 30-win season. The Mountaineers also advanced to the semifinals of the SoCon Tournament for the third time in four years.