BLACKSBURG – Another challenging regular-season schedule awaits Virginia Tech baseball as the Hokies will face 18 teams, a total of 43 games, against squads that advanced to their respective conference tournaments a year ago and the schedule also includes 40 games against teams that finished with an RPI better than 100.
The breakdown of the 56-game slate features contests against 10 different conferences, four each versus teams from the American East, Big South and Mountain West, and in eight different states, with 31 of those taking place in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including 28 at English Field at Union Park.
“I’m looking forward to the 2017 season and getting our guys out there ready to play,” head baseball coach Patrick Mason said. “Our first couple of weeks will set us up for the challenges of the ACC schedule. There is not a tougher baseball conference in the nation than the ACC and our guys are preparing to face the best teams in the country each and every weekend.”
The season starts on Friday, Feb. 17 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, with the Hokies playing a three-game series at USC-Upstate. The opener is set for a 5 p.m. first pitch. The following weekend, Tech will travel – for the first time in program history – to the state of Nevada and will play a four-game set at the University of Nevada in Reno.
Tech’s home opener is scheduled between those two weekends, a 3 p.m. game against Marshall on Tuesday, Feb. 21, and after coming back from Nevada, the Hokies will host a six-game homestand and will play 12 of their next 16 at home. It starts Tuesday, Feb. 28 with Radford and includes a four-game weekend series against Binghamton (March 3-5), a Tuesday game with Niagara (Feb. 7) and a two- game midweek set with Canisius (March 14-15). In the Hokies’ ACC home opener, they will face Florida State (March 17-19), a team that advanced to the ACC title game and the NCAA Super Regionals a year ago. The stretch will finish with William & Mary on March 21.
The rest of the ACC home slate for Tech will see NCAA participants Boston College (March 31-April 2), Virginia (April 13-15) and Georgia Tech (April 21-23) come to Blacksburg and while the Hokies face North Carolina (May 12-14) in their final home weekend.
ACC road opponents for the Hokies this season includes trips to Durham, North Carolina to face Duke (March 10-12) for their ACC opener, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to play the Panthers (March 24-26), Clemson, S.C. for a three-game set with the defending ACC champion Tigers (April 7-9), Raleigh, N.C. to play NC State (April 28-30) and ends with a flight to Florida to conclude the regular season at the Miami Hurricanes (May 18-20), a team that reached Omaha in 2016.
The non-conference schedule for Tech includes a home-and-home series with William & Mary – the Hokies go to Williamsburg on March 8; Campbell – at home March 28, in Buies Creek, N.C. on May 2; Marshall – in Huntington, W.Va. on April 4; and Radford – in Radford on April 11. Tech will also play road games in Johnson City, Tennessee against ETSU (April 18) and in Norfolk versus Old Dominion (May 16). The final nonconference home game is a midweek contest on Tuesday, May 9 versus Northeastern.