RICHMOND – VCU Baseball and Head Coach Shawn Stiffler released the program’s 2018 schedule on Thursday morning, as VCU will look to challenge themselves and compete for another Atlantic 10 title in the coming year. The Rams have topped the 35-win mark every year since 2014, and are one of only eight programs in the country to do so.
“I think our schedule is consistent with what we’ve had in the past where we’ve looked to challenge ourselves in non-conference play to prepare us for our A-10 matchups,” said Stiffler. “We have also been able to continue to add multiple in-state teams, continuing those rivalries for both our players and our fans.”
Overall, the Rams will play 11 total games against teams from last season’s NCAA Tournament field, and will play seven home series on weekends, with four of those matchups in Atlantic 10 play.
Stiffler referenced multiple matchups with in-state opponents Liberty, Longwood, William & Mary, VMI, Virginia, Norfolk State, and Old Dominion as non-conference opponents. VCU will open with a three-game series at Liberty February 16-18, and then play William & Mary once on the road on Tuesday, February 20th. They will also only play one game versus Norfolk State, with that matchup coming on Wednesday, March 7th at The Diamond. They will face the other three teams in home and home matchups. VCU will face Virginia first at home on Wednesday, March 28, VMI on Wednesday, March 21 and Wednesday, April 11, and Old Dominion twice on Tuesday, May 8 and 15. The one game against Longwood will come at home on Tuesday, April 24.
The Rams will play big, matching up against multiple Power 5 schools in one game with North Carolina, a home and home pair of games with Maryland, a pair of games with West Virginia, and a single game with Illinois. VCU travels to play the Tar Heels on Tuesday, March 6, and then will face Maryland at home Tuesday, February 27 and on the road Tuesday, April 17. The Black & Gold will take on both West Virginia and Illinois in a tournament at Coastal Carolina, who they will also play that weekend, from February 23-26.
VCU will also revisit an old CAA rivalry this season, as they will square off against East Carolina for a single game on the road on Tuesday, March 13. Other non-conference matchups will come against Manhattan, Binghamton, Lafayette, and Iona. Rounding out the non-conference slate, which will come at the end of the season, will be a two-game set on the road in a neutral site series against Western Carolina May 18 and 19. The games will be played at NcNair Field, home of the Forest City Owls of the Coastal Plains League in Forest City, North Carolina.
Looking over the Atlantic 10 slate for the Rams, they will play all six teams that were in Saint Louis last season for the A-10 Championships, opening with a three-game set at home against Rhode Island on March 23-25. They will also get Dayton, George Mason, and Richmond at home for their four league weekends at The Diamond. On the road, they will face Saint Louis, St. Bonaventure, Davidson, and George Washington.