HARROGATE, Tenn. — The Lincoln Memorial University baseball team has released the schedule for the 2013 campaign, head coach Jeff Sziksai announced Tuesday afternoon.
The Railsplitters are slated to play on 34 dates with 47 games on tap for the 2013 season, as they look to build on a 21-28 record in 2012. The Railsplitters will have 22 home games at Lamar Hennon Field. Among Lincoln Memorial’s 19 opponents scheduled for this season, three appeared in the NCAA Tournament and four appeared in the national rankings.
“In addition to our always tough SAC schedule, our goal is to play the most competitive schedule possible within our region,” said coach Jeff Sziksai. “We want to be battle tested when we enter conference play, and I feel like we will be by playing quality regional D-II opponents up and down our schedule.
“In addition, if we perform well in and out of our league, we want to be in position to make an NCAA regional, which is one of the goals every year. Our players are looking forward to playing another tough schedule, which will force us to compete at a very high level night in and night out.”
Lincoln Memorial opens the season with a seven-game road stretch, beginning with the annual three-game weekend set at the University of South Carolina Aiken Feb. 1-3. The Pacers are one of those four teams on the Railsplitters’ schedule that appeared in the national rankings last season, finishing the season ranked 20th in the final 2012 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II Poll.
After that weekend, the Railsplitters make a mid-week stop at Claflin (Orangeburg, S.C.) prior to venturing to Florida Tech for a three-game set against the Panthers in Melbourne, Fla. (Feb. 8-9).
The Railsplitters will host their home opener on Feb. 12, as they welcome UVa.-Wise to the confines of Lamar Hennon Field for a one-game draw.
LMU will open SAC play on Feb. 15 with the first of three games at Anderson University.
In total, Lincoln Memorial hosts five South Atlantic Conference series this season, beginning with the Lions of Mars Hill (Feb. 22-23). The Railsplitters also welcome Wingate (Mar. 8-9), Newberry (Mar. 15-16), Carson-Newman (Mar. 29-30) and Lenoir-Rhyne (Apr. 12-13) to Harrogate this season.
Highlighted among the Railsplitters’ 2013 schedule are road trips to Tusculum and Catawba, both of which competed in the NCAA Regional while appearing in the national rankings last season. The Railsplitters travel to Greeneville, Tenn., March 1 & 2 to take on the Pioneers, who were ranked in the top-three nationally for the greater part of 2012. Tusculum captured the South Atlantic Conference crown this past season with a 24-3 league record and a 48-10 overall mark.
They were trailed closely by the Catawba Indians, who advanced all the way to the championship series at the NCAA Division II World Series in Cary, N.C. Catawba finished with a 23-4 league mark and a 45-17 record for the season, ranking fourth in the final 2012 Collegiate Baseball Newspaper NCAA Division II Poll. The Indians will serve as the Railsplitters’ final regular-season away series, as LMU is set to travel to Salisbury, N.C. April 5-6.
Following that weekend set, the Railsplitters host Alabama-Huntsville (April 10). UAH also appeared in the NCAA regional and the national rankings last season. The Chargers capped last season at 33-24 overall.
The Railsplitters close the regular season with a three-game home set against the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne April 12-13. The 2013 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament is scheduled for the April 19-22.
With the fall schedule in the books, the Railsplitters are in the process of individual skill work, conditioning and weight training as they gear up for the quickly approaching 2013 season.