Staten Island, NY – Wagner head baseball coach Jim Carone, who has led the Seahawks to Northeast Conference (NEC) Tournament appearances in three of the last four seasons, has announced the Seahawks’ 2018 schedule.
The 2018 squad returns 21 members from a team that a year ago earned its first NEC Tournament victory under Carone when the No. 3-seeded Seahawks upset top-seeded, Bryant, 6-5, on a walk-off single from rising junior infielder Anthony Pecora, will play its first 19 games away from Richmond County Bank Ballpark. The season begins with a three-game set at North Carolina Central in Durham, NC on Feb. 16-18.
“We have put together a schedule that will challenge and prepare us for Northeast Conference (NEC) play,” commented Carone, who is entering his seventh year as head coach. “We are excited about the trips we have scheduled as well as a chance to play at some new places, highlighted by the Spring Break trip to Florida. It is a very competitive non-conference slate before we open league play on March 23 against Bryant.”
Following the opening series in North Carolina, the team will head to Baltimore, MD to meet Coppin State in a three-game series, Feb. 24-25, before closing out the first month of the season in nearby Piscataway, NJ with a Feb. 27 matchup vs. Big 10 member Rutgers.
The first week of March pits Wagner on the road in Florida as the Seahawks will start a three-game set against the University of Central Florida (UCF) of the American Athletic Conference. The Knights, who finished with a 40-22 overall and a 15-9 league mark, made it to the Tallahassee Super Regional in 2017 as the No. 2 seed before falling to Auburn and No. 1 seed, Florida State.
UCF is one of three schools, along with St. John’s and Central Connecticut, that appear on the 2018 schedule who earned NCAA berths last season. The Green & White will then meet Virginia Tech of the ACC on March 6 before concluding their five-game trip to the Sunshine State with a March 7 contest vs. Stetson in Deland, FL. A year ago, the Hatters recorded a 27-win season, that included a second-place finish in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Seahawks return to New York as they will head up to Long Island to take on America East member Stony Brook for three games (March 10-11) before traveling to the Bronx to face the Fordham Rams of the Atlantic 10 Conference on March 14.
The final leg of the road trip has the Seahawks in Pennsylvania where they will take on two more members of the A-10 in Saint Joseph’s on March 16 and LaSalle on March 17, before meeting Villanova of the Big East on March 18.
After completing its season-opening 19-game road stretch, Wagner will host five straight contests, beginning with the home opener at Richmond County Bank Ballpark on March 21 vs. the Monmouth University Hawks of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
NEC play commences with a three-game home series vs. the Bryant University Bulldogs (March 23-25). All three games are scheduled to be single, nine-inning contests.
On March 27, Wagner welcomes St. John’s to R.C.B. Ballpark. The Red Storm, who posted a 42-13 overall record, earned an NCAA bid despite falling in the Big East Championship game to Xavier (7-6). The month of March concludes with the Seahawks resuming league play as they travel to Bridgeport, CT to take on Sacred Heart. The Pioneers ended Wagner’s championship bid in last year’s tournament on the heels of a walk-off hit in the bottom of the 12th inning.
Wagner’s third Big East matchup of the season kicks off the month of April as when the Seton Hall Pirates come to Staten Island on April 4. It’s then back to conference play when the Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers and Seahawks engage in a four-game set from Staten Island onn April 6-8. The final game of the homestand is set for April 11 when the Seahawks host their second MAAC opponent in the Rider University Broncs.
The Green & White then hit the road as they head up to New Britain, CT to take on the defending NEC champion Central Connecticut State Blue Devils on April 13-15. When the Seahawks return to Staten Island, they will host their third opponent from the MAAC in Saint Peter’s on April 17 before heading out to Plymouth Meeting, PA in renewing their series with the Villanova Wildcats on April 20-22. Closing out the month will be a four-game home conference series with Fairleigh Dickinson, on April 27-29.
The final month of the regular season has the Seahawks back on the road for a total of eight games, beginning on May 4-6 in Brooklyn as they will take on the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds. Following that series, Wagner heads to Jersey City, NJ to tangle with Saint Peter’s for the second time this season on May 9, before the final road trip of the year has the Seahawks taking on Bryant on May 11-13. The home finale is set for May 17-19 as the Green & White and Sacred Heart battle three more times.
The 2018 NEC Tournament will again be contested at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT and will commence on May 24-27.