WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – The Monmouth baseball program and head coach Dean Ehehalt have announced the 2017 schedule, featuring 29 non-conference games in addition to 24 league matchups to fill out the 53-game schedule.
“Our schedule for 2017 will be a nice test early,” said Ehehalt. “We will certainly get challenged right from the go on opening weekend and follow with some other very formidable opponents and programs in subsequent weeks. As always, our philosophy is to play a tough schedule early that will allow us to get ready for the rigors of MAAC play. The MAAC is an extremely competitive league and 2017 should prove so.”
The Blue and White jump into the season with a three-game series at Florida Atlantic on February 17, and will take on an Owls team that won 39 games and competed in the Coral Gables NCAA Regional last season. Another trip south takes MU to South Carolina for a weekend series at Furman before they compete in the Notre Dame Irish Classic from March 3-5 at the USA Baseball Complex. Among the teams participating in the weekend include William and Mary, Notre Dame and Rhode Island.
MU will spend the next week-plus in the south, taking on Wofford twice as well as USC Upstate before heading to Virginia on March 14 to take on a nationally-ranked Cavaliers team that MU topped a season ago. That week concludes with a trip to the nation’s capital to face off with George Washington.
The home opener comes on March 22 against Wagner, before MAAC play kicks off with a home series vs. Quinnipiac on March 25-26. A home-and-home with in-state rival Rutgers is slated for March 28 and 29 before MU makes the trip to Buffalo to play Canisius. The Hawks play another road-conference series at Siena before returning home on April 14 to start a seven-game home stand, playing Marist and Niagara with a midweek contest against Lafayette in between.
MU will use their MAAC-bye weekend to play a set of doubleheaders against NYIT, with the Hawks returning home on the back end, April 30. Trips to Fairfield and Rider wrap up the road portion of league play before the regular season concludes at home on May 19 with a twinbill against Iona.
Monmouth will compete against five former players/coaches, beginning with former assistant coach Chuck Ristano at Notre Dame. MU will also see ex-assistant Rick Oliveri at George Washington and Joe Litterio against Rutgers, plus former players Jim Carone and Chris Greco vs. Wagner.
The 2017 MAAC Tournament is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24 through Sunday, May 28 at Sal Maglie Stadium in Niagara, NY.