Elon baseball skipper Mike Kennedy has announced the 56-game schedule that awaits the Phoenix this spring. Highlighting the upcoming slate will be contests against North Carolina, NC State, Kentucky and a three-game series at Louisville. Elon will play 27 of its games on campus at Latham Park, while 22 of the maroon and gold's games are against teams that participated in the 2012 NCAA tournament.
"We are excited about the opportunities and challenges this schedule presents our players this upcoming season," said Kennedy. "As is customary for Elon baseball, we play a great schedule year in and year out, and this spring will be no different. Our goals are simple in terms of scheduling, we want to play the most competitive schedule possible in order to put our program in position to receive an at-large bid if we play well. As tough as the Southern Conference is, we do not want to rely on having to win our tournament to get to NCAA regional play."
The 2013 campaign will get underway on Friday, Feb. 15 with a 3 p.m. game against Marist as a part of the 2013 Country Inn and Suites Elon Invitational. The tournament opens Friday morning when Boston College and VCU square off at 11 a.m. The Phoenix will then face Boston College at noon on Saturday before taking on VCU at 3 p.m. on Sunday to conclude the opening weekend.
Elon's next four games will come away from Latham Park. The trip begins with a short journey to Greensboro, N.C., to take on North Carolina A&T on Feb. 19 before the team heads to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where the Phoenix will take part in The Caravelle Resort's Baseball at the Beach hosted by Coastal Carolina. This event will be played at TicketReturn.com Field, home to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans - the Class A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Elon will open up play against Kentucky, a 2012 NCAA Regional team, at noon on Feb. 22. The following day the Phoenix will battle Kansas State at 11 a.m. before wrapping the weekend up with a 3 p.m. game with 2012 Big South Conference champion Coastal Carolina.
The Phoenix comes back home for a mid-week contest with Liberty on Feb. 26 before opening Southern Conference play at Latham Park against Furman on March 1-3.
In a stretch of five consecutive games against 2012 postseason teams, Elon will make a trip to Raleigh, N.C., to take on a 2012 Super Regional squad in NC State (March 5) before hosting a key SoCon set with College of Charleston, March 8-10. The stretch concludes with a visit to UNC Wilmington on March 12.
March 13 will see the Phoenix host Virginia Tech. Two days later, the maroon and gold visits UNCG (March 15-17) in a league series before returning to Latham Park to host Princeton on March 20.
Another four-game road swing sends the Phoenix to Western Carolina for a SoCon series March 22-24 before a visit to long-time rival High Point on March 26.
Prior to Easter weekend, Elon will welcome in the Pirates of East Carolina (a 2012 regional program) on March 27 before playing host to league foe Davidson for three games in two days over the holiday weekend. The Phoenix and Wildcats will play one game on Friday, March 29 and conclude the series with a doubleheader on March 30. The five-game homestand concludes on April 2 as High Point visits Latham Park.
Elon heads to Charleston, S.C., for a league series at The Citadel on April 5-7 before coming home for mid-week tilts with North Carolina, an NCAA tournament team, and UNC Wilmington on April 9-10.
The Phoenix will then play 12 of its next 16 games on the road. It begins with a trip to a 2012 regional team in Louisville. The Cardinals host Elon April 12-14. The maroon and gold comes back to the state of North Carolina after that series, but will visit UNC on April 17 before hosting Wofford in a three-game SoCon series on April 19-21. The next five games are all on the road, starting with a trip to East Carolina on April 23. Elon then heads south to take on Georgia Southern in a SoCon set, April 26-28. The trip concludes with a game at Wake Forest on April 30. The following day, Elon hosts Wake Forest before playing its final three road games of the year at NCAA regional participant and SoCon member Appalachian State (May 3-5).
The season will conclude with five consecutive home games at Latham Park. North Carolina A&T visits on May 7 ahead of a league series against 2012 NCAA tournament participant Samford (May 10-12). The regular season concludes on May 14 when Elon hosts NC State.
In 2013, the Southern Conference Tournament returns to Greenville, S.C., and Fluor Field, home of the Greenville Drive minor league squad. The league showcase will begin on May 22 with the title game being contested on May 26.