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5 takeaways from Maryland baseball’s 2017 schedule release

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Let’s check out some intriguing storylines.

maryland baseball Sung Min Kim/Testudo Times

After advancing to an NCAA Super Regional in 2014 and 2015, a young Maryland baseball squad just missed its third straight NCAA tournament appearance last season. The program released its full 2017 schedule this week. Let’s check out what’s on tap.

1. A test right out of the gate

Maryland opens the 2017 season with a trip to Florida for the Clearwater tournament. The most intriguing matchup of this early-season bracket will come in the second set of three games, when the Terps play 2016 NCAA Super Regional participant Louisville. The Cardinals were gutted over the offseason as the program had seven players drafted within the first four rounds of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft. This included some of the best players in the country in outfielder Corey Ray, pitcher Zack Burdi and catcher Will Smith. Nevertheless, this matchup will be a good litmus test for Maryland.

2. Road trips to traditional college baseball powers

For the fourth time in the past five seasons, Maryland will travel to an SEC campus for a three-game set. This time the Terps will head down south to Louisiana to take on LSU from February 24-26. This will come just a few days after the team finishes up the Clearwater Tournament in Florida. The SEC is known for high-quality baseball, and catching these teams early on in the season will certainly provide good experience for a Maryland team clearly looking to play in big games before its Big Ten slate starts. The Terps will also travel to Chapel Hill on March 14 to take on UNC for a single game. While the traditional college baseball powerhouse didn’t crack the NCAA Tournament field in 2016, it is certainly a positive to play a program with the tradition that their former ACC rival has.

3. An eight-game road trip late in the season (including the Ripken Cup)

It will take six games before the Terps will play their first home contest of the 2017 season. However, Maryland will go on another long road trip towards the back end of regular season play. The team will travel to Harrisburg, Va. (James Madison), Bloomington, Ind. (Indiana), Champaign, Ill. (Illinois) and Aberdeen, Md. (Towson) before returning to Bob “Turtle” Smith stadium to take on UMBC in early May. The matchup at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium will see the Terps play Towson for bragging rights in the annual Ripken Cup. Many of these games look winnable on paper, so taking care of business during this late stretch will be critical for the Terps to get back to postseason baseball.

4. First-ever trips to a pair of Big Ten rivals

Maryland will visit a couple of stadiums for the first time in the 2017 season. The first of these will be when the Terps travel to Nebraska on April 7 for a three-game series against the Cornhuskers. This will mark the the first time the Maryland baseball program will play a road game against the 2016 Big Ten regular season runner-up. The next historic road trip will come in that late eight game road trip when the Terps will play Indiana in Bloomington for a three-game set. The Terps played the Hoosiers twice in 2016, with Maryland taking both contests in the Big Ten Tournament.

5. 2016 NCAA Tournament flavor

The Terps return a bunch of key pieces who are another year older, but their schedule certainly does not make things easy. Maryland will suit up against nine different 2016 NCAA Tournament qualifiers this season, with some of these including multiple series versus these programs. Eight of the tournament teams the Terps will face come from out of conference. This list includes Louisville, Alabama State, LSU, N.C. State, William & Mary, Bryant, Princeton and UNCW. Nebraska will be the only 2016 Big Ten NCAA Tournament team Maryland’s scheduled for the 2017 regular season. Playing this many potentially successful programs will provide many challenges, but also will help Maryland in RPI, which is crucial to getting selected for postseason play. The Terps played six 2016 NCAA Tournament qualifiers last year.

These are just a few storylines that are set to unfold this coming season. While opening day is still a few months away, we can finally see how the Terps’ path back to another NCAA regional will shape up.

Here’s the full schedule below:

DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME (ET)
Clearwater Tournament
Wed, Feb 17 Ball State Clearwater, Fla. (Bright House Field) 7:00 p.m.
Thu, Feb 18 Louisville Clearwater, Fla. (Bright House Field) 6:00 p.m.
Fri, Feb 19 Alabama State Clearwater, Fla. (Bright House Field) 10:00 a.m.
Wed, Feb 24 LSU at Baton Rouge, La. 8:00 p.m.
Thu, Feb 25 LSU at Baton Rouge, La. 3:00 p.m.
Fri, Feb 26 LSU at Baton Rouge, La. 11:00 a.m.
Tue, Mar 01 James Madison Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 4:00 p.m.
USA Baseball-Irish Classic
Thu, Mar 03 North Carolina State Cary, N.C. TBA
Fri, Mar 04 Notre Dame Cary, N.C. TBA
Sat, Mar 05 UMass Lowell Cary, N.C. TBA
Mon, Mar 07 William & Mary at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium TBA
Tue, Mar 08 Saint Joseph's Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 4:00 p.m.
Thu, Mar 10 Bryant Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 6:30 p.m.
Fri, Mar 11 Bryant Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 2:00 p.m.
Sat, Mar 12 Bryant Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 1:00 p.m.
Mon, Mar 14 North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. 6:00 p.m.
Thu, Mar 17 Princeton Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 6:30 p.m.
Fri, Mar 18 Princeton Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 2:00 p.m.
Sat, Mar 19 Princeton Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 1:00 p.m.
Mon, Mar 21 UNCW at Wilmington, N.C. 6:00 p.m.
Tue, Mar 22 UNCW at Wilmington, N.C. 3:30 p.m.
Thu, Mar 24 Michigan * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 6:30 p.m.
Fri, Mar 25 Michigan * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 2:00 p.m.
Sat, Mar 26 Michigan * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 1:00 p.m.
Tue, Mar 29 Saint Joseph's at Philadelphia, Pa. TBA
Thu, Mar 31 Rutgers * at Piscataway, N.J. TBA
Fri, Apr 01 Rutgers * at Piscataway, N.J. TBA
Sat, Apr 02 Rutgers * at Piscataway, N.J. TBA
Mon, Apr 04 Richmond Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 4:00 p.m.
Thu, Apr 07 Nebraska * at Lincoln, Neb. 7:35 p.m.
Fri, Apr 08 Nebraska * at Lincoln, Neb. 3:05 p.m.
Sat, Apr 09 Nebraska * at Lincoln, Neb. 2:05 p.m.
Mon, Apr 11 West Virginia Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 4:00 p.m.
Tue, Apr 12 George Mason at Fairfax, Va. TBA
Thu, Apr 14 Penn State * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 6:30 p.m.
Fri, Apr 15 Penn State * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 2:00 p.m.
Sat, Apr 16 Penn State * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 1:00 p.m.
Tue, Apr 19 William & Mary at Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium TBA
Thu, Apr 21 Michigan State * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 6:30 p.m.
Fri, Apr 22 Michigan State * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 2:00 p.m.
Sat, Apr 23 Michigan State * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 1:00 p.m.
Mon, Apr 25 James Madison at Harrisonburg, Va. TBA
Thu, Apr 28 Indiana * at Bloomington, Ind. TBA
Fri, Apr 29 Indiana * at Bloomington, Ind. TBA
Sat, Apr 30 Indiana * at Bloomington, Ind. TBA
Tue, May 03 Towson Aberdeen, Md. (Leidos Field at Ironbirds Stadium) TBA
Thu, May 05 Illinois * at Champaign, Ill. 6:00 p.m.
Fri, May 06 Illinois * at Champaign, Ill. 3:00 p.m.
Sat, May 07 Illinois * at Champaign, Ill. 1:00 p.m.
Mon, May 09 UMBC Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 4:00 p.m.
Thu, May 12 Northwestern * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 6:30 p.m.
Fri, May 13 Northwestern * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 2:00 p.m.
Sat, May 14 Northwestern * Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium 1:00 p.m.
Wed, May 18 High Point at High Point, N.C. TBA
Thu, May 19 High Point at High Point, N.C. TBA
Fri, May 20 High Point at High Point, N.C. TBA
Wed, May 24
-
Sun, May 28
Big Ten Tournament TBD TBA