AMHERST, Mass. – The UMass baseball team released its 2014 schedule Wednesday afternoon with the campaign slated to open on Saturday, Feb. 22. UMass will face the Army Black Knights in a doubleheader beginning at noon in Cary, N.C. The series finishes the following day as both teams will face off at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.
UMass’ early season action will also feature four games against ACC foe Maryland from Feb. 28 to March 2 in College Park, Md. The squad then heads south again to Davidson, N.C., to face Davidson and North Carolina A&T (March 7-9) and will play its second three-game series with Army in Tampa, Fla., March 15-16.
The Minutemen will launch play in the Atlantic 10 on March 21, playing host to the La Salle Explorers at 3 p.m. on Earl Lorden Field. The matchup will also mark UMass’ home opener.
The series against La Salle will be the first of five home conference weekends for UMass in 2014. The Minutemen will also host Dayton (Apr. 4-6), defending Atlantic 10 Champion Saint Louis (Apr.11-13), George Mason (May 2-4) and VCU (May 9-11).
The 2014 Baseball Beanpot will open for UMass with a first round matchup against Northeastern on Wednesday, Apr. 9, in Amherst, while the consolation and championship games will be held at Northeastern’s Parsons Field on Monday, Apr. 21.
A May 15-17 trip to Philadelphia, Pa., to face Saint Joseph’s will conclude the regular season for the Minutemen, who will also travel to Richmond (March 28-30), George Washington (Apr. 18-20) and Fordham (Apr. 25-27).
UMass returns 25 members of its 2013 roster, including senior third baseman Nik Campero and junior right-hander Andrew Grant. Campero, a native of Wallingford, Conn., had the team’s second-highest batting average last season, finishing at .305 along with 50 hits and 20 RBI. Grant spent 63.2 innings atop the mound for the Minutemen, which included a team-high 58 strikeouts. His campaign was marked in part by a complete game shutout versus Rhode Island on Apr. 6 as well as 13 strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work against Saint Joseph’s on April 26.