ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Head baseball coach Scott Friedholm announced an exciting and challenging 2018 schedule on Thursday, which includes hosting Boston College on March 6, a full Big South Conference slate, traveling to three ACC schools (Florida State, North Carolina State and North Carolina) and holding 22 home games at Greenwood Field.
“The 2018 schedule is a challenge for a reason. If we want to prepare our guys for the Big South Conference, we have to let them play in challenging conditions and atmospheres,” said Friedholm. “To go on the road versus Ohio Valley Conference, Southern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference schools, it will be a test that we are excited about. We hope to create a rhythm that when we have to travel to Radford, Liberty, Longwood, Charleston Southern and Winthrop, we will be comfortable and ready to play.”
UNC Asheville opens its season in the Music City as the Bulldogs travel to Lipscomb for a three-game set beginning on Feb. 16.
Following playing three Southern Conference schools on the road (Wofford, Mercer and Western Carolina), the Bulldogs will square off with Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla. from March 2-4. The 2017 ACC Tournament Champions ended its season last year with a 46-23 overall record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament in Omaha, Neb.
“Our home schedule is challenging as well. We will host ACC, SoCon, Sunbelt, ASUN, MEAC and MAAC teams at Greenwood Field,” Friedholm said. “We are looking forward to how the 2018 team competes and reacts to adversity.”
With 11 games under their belt, the Bulldogs will open their home schedule on March 6 as they welcome Boston College to Greenwood Field. The Eagles ended their 2017 campaign at 25-28 overall. BC was also Friedholm’s last stop before moving to Asheville as he was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator for the Eagles for four seasons.
Asheville will host its first series of the season versus Manhattan on March 9-11, and the Bulldogs will travel to N.C. State for a two-game, mid-week series in Raleigh, N.C. on March 13-14.
The weekend after, UNC Asheville opens Big South Conference play at Radford from March 16-18. Two weeks later, the Bulldogs will host their first conference series from March 29-31 as Campbell comes to Asheville.
After a mid-week road matchup at USC Upstate, Asheville will begin its longest homestand (five games) of the year as it will host Western Carolina, Presbyterian and USC Upstate from April 4-10.
After traveling to Longwood from April 13-15, the Bulldogs will entertain Wofford on April 18 and then travel to Winthrop from April 20-22.
The Bulldogs will open the month of May with a trip to North Carolina. The Tar Heels made an appearance in the ACC Tournament last year but were routed 7-3 in the championship game versus FSU. Despite losing in the championship, UNC received an at-large bid to NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels lost in the opening round to Davidson 8-4, but they upended Michigan and FGCU to earn a rematch with Davidson. However, the Wildcats defeated North Carolina 2-1 in the Chapel Hill Regional championship game.
The Bulldogs will take a weekend off and will then travel to North Carolina Central on May 9 before concluding their home portion of the schedule. Asheville hosts a three-game set with High Point on May 11-13 and will conclude the home schedule on May 15 as ETSU travels to Asheville for a Tuesday showdown.
To conclude the regular season, UNC Asheville travels to Charleston, S.C. to square off with Charleston Southern from May 17-19 at CSU Ballpark.
UNC Asheville returns 20 players from last year and welcomes 10 new players to the squad.
Asheville finished the 2017 season making a run into the semifinal round of the Big South Conference Championship, which was a feat that had not been accomplished since 2007. With their 25-win season last year, it marked the sixth-most wins in program history and the most since the 2004 team won 26 games.