GREENSBORO – The North Carolina A&T baseball will spend the first 11 games of its season playing in front of the home fans at War Memorial Stadium, including a pivotal three-game series against archrival and conference foe N.C. Central.
The Aggies released their 2014 schedule on Thursday. It includes a game at perennial college baseball power North Carolina, the annual NewBridge Bank Park game against crosstown rival UNC Greensboro and a three-game series with defending MEAC champion Savannah State late in the season.
A&T enters the season without ace left-hander Brent Moore (4-7, 3.69 ERA) and slugging first baseman Kelvin Freeman (.342, 16 HR, 59 RBI, .663 slugging percentage), who was drafted by the Chicago Cubs organization over the summer. They do return right-hander Tyler Boone (4-5, 3.78 ERA) who is expected to be the Aggies’ ace in 2014. They also return All-American Luke Tendler who hit .369, with 25 doubles, four triples, five home runs and 34 RBI in 2013.
Temple will be the Aggies’ first opponent of the season. The Owls come in to Greensboro for a three-game series starting Feb. 14 and ending Feb. 16 at War Memorial. A&T finishes the month of February at home with Radford (Feb. 18), Marshall (Feb. 21-23) and Elon (Feb. 25). The month of March starts with the N.C. Central Eagles visiting War Memorial for a three-game set that starts with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 1 at 1 p.m. The third game will be played on Sunday, March 2 at 1 p.m.
The Aggies then play the first of two ACC opponents in 2014 as they travel to Raleigh to face N.C. State on Wednesday, March 5 at 3 p.m. Among the Aggies other non-conference opponents are UMass, Davidson, Bryant, Winthrop, High Point, Marist and Campbell. For the ninth straight season, the Aggies will face UNCG at NewBridge Bank Park in downtown Greensboro as the two rivals face each other on Tuesday, March 25 at 6 p.m. They will play again on the campus of UNCG on Wednesday, April 2 at 6 p.m.
Six of the Aggies’ final nine conference games will be played at War Memorial, including a three-game series against Savannah State April 26-27. The MEAC tournament will start May 14 in Norfolk, Va.
“It’s a good schedule, not overly tough,” said N.C. A&T head coach Joel Sanchez. “We match up pretty well with our first few opponents, and the conference is the conference, no one is running away with it anymore. I think we’ve got a pretty good chance barring injury.”