GREENWOOD – The Lander baseball team has released its 2019 schedule, head coach Jason Burke announced today.
The Bearcats are scheduled to play 50 games, including 20 games against eight teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, including the top five seeds from last year's Southeast Regional. Lander will face three teams that won their conference tournaments last year. The eight NCAA Tournament participants on Lander's schedule come from three different geographic regions. The Bearcats are slated to play 26 games at Dolny Stadium.
"This schedule was put together to challenge this team," said Burke. "We are trying to play the beat competition out there and make our way back to where the best teams in program history have been. The early games are designed to get us ready for the Peach Belt Conference schedule. Playing Tampa, North Greenville and Mount Olive the first weekend on the road then coming home to play another great program like Millersville will show us exactly what the best look like and where we need to be to compete in the Peach Belt. I'm extremely excited about being able to play some of the best teams in the Southeast."
Lander begins the season with four games in five days in Tampa, Fla., at the New York Yankees' spring training home. The Bearcats will face reigning Sunshine State Conference champion Tampa (Feb. 1), Conference Carolinas champ North Greenville (Feb. 2) and Mount Olive (Feb. 3, Feb. 5).
The Bearcats begin an 11-game home stretch with a three-game series against Millersville, who hosted last year's Atlantic Regional (Feb. 8-10). Lander hosts Newberry (Feb. 12) before beginning Peach Belt Conference play with Young Harris (Feb. 15-17). The Bearcats then take on Tusculum (Feb. 19) and UNC Pembroke, an NCAA Tournament team from last season (Feb. 22-24). February ends with a trip to Newberry (Feb. 26).
Lander makes its first PBC road trip to Flagler (Mar. 1-3) before opening a eight-game homestand against four teams, three of which were NCAA Tournament participants. South Region representative Nova Southeastern comes to Dolny Stadium (Mar. 8-9) before the Bearcats host North Greenville (Mar. 13) and national runner-up Columbus State (Mar. 15-17). Lander caps the stretch against Catawba (Mar. 19). The Bearcats makes the trip to Francis Marion (Mar. 22-24) and heads to Belmont Abbey, an NCAA Tournament team (Mar. 26), before returning to Greenwood to face rival Erskine (Mar. 27). Lander ends the month with a road series at Augusta (Mar. 29-31).
A trip to Erskine (Apr. 2) begins the final month of the regular season. Lander then welcomes reigning PBC champion Georgia College (Apr. 5-7) before heading to Catawba (Apr. 9) and Georgia Southwestern (Apr. 13-14). The Bearcats then face North Greenville at Flour Field (Apr. 17). Lander welcomes USC Aiken to Dolny Stadium for its final home series of the season (Apr. 18-20). The regular season finishes at North Georgia (Apr. 26-28).