By Jake Eisenberg
Maryland Baseball released its schedule for the 2017 season, Monday.
The Terps went 30-27 in 2016, earning the six-seed in the 2016 Big Ten Tournament before falling to Iowa in the conference tournament semi-final. Maryland will look to return to the NCAA Tournament after missing it for the first time in three years.
Every game this season—home and away—can be listened to
LIVE on the Maryland Baseball Network.
The season begins in Clearwater, Fl., with the Clearwater Tournament, where the Terps will play Alabama St., Ball. St. and Louisville. Both the Hornets and Cardinals made the NCAA Tournament in 2016, and Maryland’s matchup with Louisville—the No. 2 overall seed in last year’s tournament—marks the first time the Terps will play an ACC opponent since joining the Big Ten after the 2013 season.
Maryland’s home-opener will be a mid-week contest against James Madison on March 1. The Terps swept a home-and-away series with the Dukes in 2015.
The first home series for Maryland pits the Terps against the Bryant Bulldogs, which won the most regular season games in Division 1 baseball last season, earning a 2-seed in the Charlottesville Regional. This marks the second straight year Bryant will travel to Maryland. In 2015, the Terps won the series two games to one. During the offseason, former Bryant pitching coach Ryan Fecteau joined the Maryland staff in the same capacity.
Here’s a look at the 2017 schedule, with home games highlighted in green, neutral site games highlighted gray, and conference games in bold. Game times are subject to change.
Like 2016—when Maryland’s non-conference schedule was the sixth-strongest in the nation—head coach John Szefc has rolled out another difficult non-conference slate. In addition to the Clearwater Tournament, Maryland will face two ACC teams—NC State and Notre Dame—during the USA Baseball-Irish Classic in Cary, Nc. The fourth participant of that tournament is UMASS-Lowell. The dates and times for the specific games in the USA Baseball-Irish Classic Tournament have yet to be announced.
Additionally, Maryland will play a series at LSU (Feb. 24-26), and host Bryant and Princeton (March 17-19), each of whom reached the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The Tigers were one of eight national seeds, hosting and winning an NCAA Regional before falling to eventual national champion Coastal Carolina. Of all of the Terps non-conference opponents, seven reached the 2016 NCAA Tournament, and three finished the season in D1baseball.com’s Top 25 (LSU, Louisville, NC State).
The Terps will begin conference play by hosting Michigan for the first time since Maryland joined the Big Ten, marking the first time former Maryland head coach Erik Bakich will return to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium since becoming the Wolverines’ head coach. The teams last played in 2015, with Michigan winning two out of three games in Ann Arbor, Mich. Maryland will also host Penn St., Michigan St. and Northwestern in conference series—all three programs will make their first trips to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium since the Terps joined the conference. Maryland will play away conference series against Rutgers, Nebraska, Indiana and Illinois.
The Big Ten Tournament will begin May 24 and end May 28, with the location still unannounced.