Posted: 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013
By Brian Barbour
The schedule for the 2014 baseball season has been released as UNC looks to defend it's ACC title in what is likely to be a rebuilding year of sorts.
The Diamond Heels open the season on Friday, February 14th with the first of three games against College of Charleston. In a possible acknowledgement of expectations, Mike Fox doesn't appear to have been very aggressive with the scheduling. None of the true non-conference opponents hail from major conferences unless you count Xavier out of the Big East and the Musketeers didn't even make the NCAA Tournament in 2013. UNC also doesn't stray far from North Carolina unless it is for ACC games.
With ACC expansion in full effect the number of baseball teams in the conference moved from 12 to 14. Both Pitt and Notre Dame have baseball programs while Syracuse does not. Since the ACC schedule is 30 games, UNC will only see ten of the thirteen possible conference foes as determined by an ongoing rotation. This means UNC will not play a series versus Clemson, Notre Dame and NC State but unfortunately must travel to College Park to face Maryland one last time. To make up for the fact UNC and NC State won't see each other in a series, both schools have agreed to a mid-week game on April 15th at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the site of last May's epic 18-inning battle in the ACC Tournament which the Heels won 2-1.
The home schedule includes series versus Florida State, Georgia Tech, Pitt, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. The Heels will face Maryland, Duke, Boston College, Virginia and Miami on the road. And yes, going to Coral Gables might be as bad or worse than going to Atlanta where baseball is concerned.