FARMVILLE, Va. – A trip to Auburn, Ala., for a three-game set to open the season, a trip to Charlottesville, Va., for a fifth consecutive year, a home series against the defending Big South Tournament champions, a late-season trip to play at Navy, and 16 games against in-state opponents highlight the regular season slate for Longwood baseball in 2018.
Longwood baseball faces a challenging non-conference slate, which includes a pair of 2017 NCAA Regional participants on the docket. The non-conference schedule includes a three-game series at Auburn to begin the season and a single game at Virginia in March, both teams that participated in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Longwood will also face ACC foe, Duke, in March and play three games at the 2017 Patriot League regular season champion, Navy, in May.
“This year’s non-conference schedule will test us greatly on the field, while providing our players exciting opportunities to compete in some of the best venues in the country,” Longwood fourth-year head coach Ryan Mau said. “These experiences will help prepare us for the challenging Big South Conference schedule that lies ahead.”
The Lancers begin the season at Auburn, February 16 through 18. Auburn finished the 2017 regular season ranked 29th in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball. The three-game season-opening series will be Longwood’s first games against an SEC opponent since the Lancers played three games at Georgia in 2015.
Longwood will play three games at a future Big South competitor when the Lancers face USC Upstate on the road March 2 through 4. Earlier this year the Big South announced USC Upstate would join the conference following the 2017-2018 academic year. Longwood faced USC Upstate in 2017, the first meeting between the two programs since 1992.
The Lancers play the first of their two ACC games at Duke on March 7. Longwood last played Duke in Durham, N.C., in 2016 when the Lancers played the Blue Devils at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The 27-game Big South Conference schedule opens for Longwood at home against High Point for three games beginning March 16. The 27-game conference schedule marks the most games Longwood is scheduled to play in conference since playing 27 Big South games in 2014. The Lancers face High Point after not playing the Panthers in 2017.
The first of Longwood’s 10 non-conference games against in-state opponents comes when the Lancers host Norfolk State on March 20. The Lancers will play home-and-home series with Norfolk State (home March 20, road May 1), VMI (home April 3, road April 10), and James Madison (home April 17, road May 15). The Lancers will play single games at Virginia on March 27 and at VCU on April 24. Longwood will also host George Mason for a single game on April 4 and host Richmond on May 9.
The first of Longwood’s two series against in-state Big South opponents begins when the Lancers host the defending Big South Tournament champion Radford. The Lancers and Highlanders face off April 6 through April 8 at Buddy Bolding Stadium.
Longwood will play a three-game series at the site of the 2018 Big South Baseball Tournament when the Lancers play a three-game set at Liberty April 27 through 29. The runner-ups in the 2017 Big South regular season, Liberty was named the host of the eight-team double-elimination conference tournament for the 2018 season.
The Lancers will play their final non-conference series at Navy, with a single game May 5 and a doubleheader in Annapolis, Md., on May 6. Prior to joining Longwood, Mau coached at Navy as an assistant for four seasons. Mau was the associate head coach and recruiting coordinator with the Midshipmen from 2011 through the end of the 2014 season.
The Lancers wrap up the regular season at home against Gardner-Webb with a series that begins May 17, concluding the campaign with senior day on May 19. Longwood is set to close out the regular season at home for the first time since the Lancers ended the 2015 regular season at Buddy Bolding Stadium against Winthrop.
The Lancers open the 2018 season at Auburn February 16 and open the home slate against Niagara February 23.