LOWELL, Mass. – UMass Lowell Baseball Head Coach Ken Harring has announced his team’s 52-game slate for the upcoming 2017 campaign, which will be the final season in the River Hawks’ four-year Division I transition period.
“Our schedule has nice balance to it,” commented Harring. “We try to play teams that we will be playing in an NCAA Tournament when we are eligible. We accomplished this by starting off our year with UConn, who has been the best team in our region over the last 10 years. The Huskies, along with Notre Dame and NC State are traditional powers. Playing teams like this helps with recruiting and exposes our players to some of the top talent in the country.”
Harring will see his team begin all-time series with seven different schools, and play eight teams that won 30 or more games a year ago, with five teams making the NCAA Regionals and Boston College advancing to the Super Regionals. The River Hawks will play 10 games against 2016 NCAA Tournament squads.
UMass Lowell opens the season against UConn in a four-game set at the New York Mets’ Spring Training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla., from February 17-19.
The River Hawks’ will then head to North Carolina for two separate tournaments as the season continues into March. During the Davidson Tournament (Feb. 24-26) Harring’s squad will matchup against Davidson, Fairleigh Dickinson and Lehigh. To begin, March UMass Lowell competes in the USA Baseball-Irish Classic at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C., taking on Monmouth and Notre Dame. The third and final game of the Classic takes place against the Wolfpack of NC State in Raleigh on March 5.
The River Hawks will spend spring break at Central Connecticut and Wagner, before heading to Philadelphia for the Big Five Baseball Bash against Saint Joseph’s, La Salle and Villanova from March 17-19.
“We also like to play non-conference games within our recruiting footprint, which stretches primarily from Maine to Maryland,” continued Harring. “Our spring break trip to Fordham, Central Conn, Wagner and the Big Five Classic in Philly will allow our committed players to come watch us play.”
UMass Lowell plays its first game within the confines of LeLacheur Park on March 22 against Holy Cross to begin a season-long, nine-game homestand until April 4. The River Hawks open up America East play at home with a traditional three-game set against Binghamton during the weekend of Mach 25.
“Coming home to play a nine-game homestand after a long road trip will be exciting for the guys,” concluded Harring. “There is nothing like conference play, and we have a lot to prove after finishing last in 2016.”
The River Hawks won 20 games for the second time in the Division I era, finishing 20-32 with a 5-19 mark in conference play.