TROY, Alabama – The 2017 Troy baseball schedule, highlighted with 18 games against seven teams that made an NCAA Regional appearance last season, including the reigning College World Series champions, was announced Thursday by head coach Mark Smartt.
“The schedule is loaded with quality opponents throughout the season that includes the always demanding 30-game Sun Belt Conference grind,” Smartt said. “Our players will be challenged each week beginning at home with Big East champion Xavier and closing with road games in Starkville and Mobile. Our team will have a great opportunity to prove themselves in 2017.”
Troy begins the season hosting a four-game series against Xavier (Feb. 17-19), who was the Nashville Regional runner-up a year ago, before beginning a nine-game road bit beginning at Samford (Feb. 21) in a weekday matchup. The Trojans will then travels to New Orleans (Feb. 24-26) for a three-game series against the Privateers. It’s the first time the team will play New Orleans on the road since 2010, when it was a member of the Sun Belt Conference.
Following the trip to Louisiana, Troy will make the “minor league tour” and play UAB (Feb. 28) in Regions Park, home of the Birmingham Barons and finish the week at Vince Whibbs Community Maritime Park Stadium, home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, in the Cox Diamond Invitational. The Trojans will open tournament play against Seton Hall (March 3) and conclude tournament play against two teams that made an NCAA Regional appearance last year in South Alabama (March 5) and Southeastern Louisiana (March 4). The three teams Troy plays in the tournament combined for 120 wins in 2016. The Trojans wrap up the road stretch with a matchup against Alabama (March 7).
Troy returns home to face Hofstra (March 9-12) in a four-game series that begins on Thursday and ends on Sunday. The Trojans will open conference play at Little Rock (March 17-19), a team that finished third in the Sun Belt last year. Troy will face Samford (March 21) at home before hosting UL Lafayette (March 24-26), a team that housed an NCAA Regional last season, as the conference home opener.
The Trojans will end March and open April in Arlington, Texas with a three-game series against UT Arlington (March 31-April 2). In the month of April, Troy will play 19 games, including four against NCAA Regional teams. The Trojans return home to host SEC foe Alabama (April 4) and welcomes Georgia Southern (April 7-9) for a Sun Belt weekend series. Troy will travel to Montgomery, Ala., to face Alabama State (April 11), who went to the Tallahassee Regional a year ago, before traveling to another capital city in Atlanta, Ga., for the second year in a row to face Georgia State (April 13-15).
Troy welcomes UAB (April 18) for a Tuesday night game and then travels to Jacksonville State (April 19) for a Wednesday night clash. Texas State (April 21-23) travels to Riddle-Pace Field for the final home series in the month. The Trojans end April with a big week, first traveling to Auburn (April 25) on Tuesday night and then traveling to Sun Belt newcomer, Coastal Carolina (April 28-30), the NCAA College World Series champions. It is the first time ever that the Trojans have the defending NCAA College World Series champs on the schedule.
The month of May opens with an eight game stretch, beginning with a midweek game against Jacksonville State (May 3), a team that Troy has played the most in program history. The Trojans then face Appalachian State (May 5-7) in a three-game series before hosting Alabama State (May 10) in a midweek matchup. Troy wraps up its home schedule against ULM (May 12-14) and ends the season with four straight road games against two teams that were NCAA Regional participants last year. The Trojans travel to Dudy Noble Field to face Mississippi State, a team that hosted an NCAA Super Regional last year. Another team that played in that 2016 Tallahassee Regional in South Alabama (May 18-20) hosts the Trojans for the regular-season finale in Mobile, Ala.
The Sun Belt Conference Tournament will be held May 24-28 in Statesboro, Ga.