Challenging schedule on tap for baseball

Published 1:00 pm Sunday, December 12, 2021

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In his first season at the helm of the Longwood baseball program, Head Coach Chad Oxendine has dialed up a challenging schedule. With nine teams from last season’s NCAA Tournament and six Power 5 foes, the team’s full 56-game schedule was released on Friday afternoon.

In the 32-game non-conference slate, Longwood will face seven teams that made it to the regional round or farther in the NCAA Tournament. That includes matchups with both North Carolina State and Virginia, two ACC powers who both advanced to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Lancers also take in a partial tour of the ACC with games against reigning tournament champ Duke as well as Wake Forest and North Carolina. Purdue serves as Longwood’s sixth and final Power 5 foe as the Lancers take on the Boilermakers in a four-game series.

Longwood also plays a host of regional opponents that qualified for the postseason last year, with games against VCU, Norfolk State and Charlotte on the non-conference slate. Additionally, the team renews yearly matchups against regional foes James Madison, Richmond and George Mason.

Plus, Longwood will take on the always-challenging 24-game Big South gauntlet that saw two teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament last season in Campbell and reigning tournament champion Presbyterian.

The schedule features 22 home games, and the Lancers open at home against Maryland Eastern Shore, Friday-Sunday, Feb. 18-20, before hosting their half of a home and home against VCU on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

Longwood then hits the road for 10 straight away from Farmville, one of two such road swings on the year. The road trip opens with a bang, as Longwood heads to Raleigh to take on N.C. State, Wednesday, Feb. 23, followed by a weekend series with Elon, Friday-Sunday, Feb. 25-27. The team opens March at North Carolina, Tuesday, March 1, before taking on Purdue in a four-game series, Friday-Sunday, March 4-6 at a neutral site in Holly Springs, North Carolina. Longwood closes off the trip with a midweek game against Charlotte, Tuesday, March 8, to open spring break.

The Lancers come back home one day later to host St. Peters Wednesday, March 9, and kick off an eight-game homestand, their longest of the season. The Lancers host Bryant University for a three-game series, Friday-Sunday, March 11-13, and Norfolk State in the front of a home-and-home, Tuesday, March 15, before diving into conference play by welcoming UNC Asheville to Buddy Bolding Stadium, Friday-Sunday, March 18-20.

Longwood then heads back out on the road for their longest road swing, a 14-game haul that stretches into the second week of April. After a return trip to VCU, Tuesday, March 22, Longwood then heads to new Big South member North Carolina A&T for a three-game series, Friday-Sunday, March 25-27. The Lancers then play seven straight non-conference games, with a midweek trip to James Madison, Tuesday, March 29 leading into a weekend at UNC Greensboro, Friday-Sunday, April 1-3. Following midweek trips to Richmond, Tuesday, April 5, and Duke, Wednesday, April 6, the Lancers wrap up the stretch with a three-game series at Big South foe High Point, Friday-Sunday, April 8-10.

Longwood heads back home for a four-game set over the course of a week as they play host to George Mason, Tuesday, April 12, and conference foe Presbyterian, Thursday-Saturday, April 14-16, prior to Easter Sunday.

The Lancers then head back out for seven straight, beginning with a trip to Norfolk State, Tuesday, April 19, for a midweek test. The team rolls on to Campbell, Friday-Sunday, April 22-24, for a three-game conference series followed by a trip to George Mason, Tuesday, April 26. A doubleheader at Wake Forest, Sunday, May 1 closes out the road trip.

The remainder of May features six of 10 at home to close the regular season, as Longwood hosts USC Upstate, Friday-Sunday, May 6-8 before heading to Virginia, Wednesday, May 11 for one final non-conference test. After heading to Radford, Friday-Sunday, May 13-15 for their final road series, Longwood heads back home to close the year with a three-game series against Charleston Southern, Thursday-Friday, May 19-20.

Longwood returns 24 players from a season ago while also welcoming in 11 newcomers: four freshman and seven transfers.