UVA Baseball greeted fans with a pleasant surprise last week with the release of the 2023 baseball schedule.

The 2023 Road To Omaha begins on February 17 in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Per the press release from UVA, the 2023 schedule consists of fifty-six games. Thirty-six of those games will be played at The Dish. Eighteen games will be played on the road. And two games will be considered neutral site games in Wilmington, NC.

The last time the Hoos opened in Wilmington, North Carolina was the 2014 season when UVA finished as the national runner up.

As is customary, the Hoos will play thirty conference games with five series at home and five also on the road.

The schedule includes nine teams that played in the 2022 NCAA Baseball Tournament.

This first piece will cover the nonconference portion of the schedule. A follow up will examine the conference slate.

All RPI data is via D1Baseball.com’s 2022 season RPI tracker.

Opening Weekend (February 17 – 19 Wilmington, North Carolina)

The Hoos open the 2023 season in Wilmington, North Carolina as one of four teams in an event hosted by the UNCW Seahawks. Joining the Hoos and Seahawks will be Navy and Ohio.

UNCW has yet to announce the sequence of games for their event. It figures to be a round robin format with each team playing a game on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

UNCW (2022 Record: 31-24 Overall, 15-9 CAA, RPI 91)

The Seahawks will serve as host of the event at Brooks Field on their campus (capacity 3,500). They tied Hofstra for second place in the CAA regular season during the 2022 season. UNCW did not advance to the NCAA Tournament after going 0-2 in the CAA Tournament.

Against Power 5 competition, UNCW went 4-5 last season (0-2 Rutgers, 3-1 Ohio State, 0-1 UNC, 1-1 NC State).

D1Baseball.com subscribers can read more about UNCW in D1’s fall report on the Seahawks here.

Navy (2022 Record: 19-26 Overall, 10-15 Patriot League, RPI 247)

Navy finished sixth in the six baseball team Patriot League in 2022. Their only Power 5 game last season was a 18-10 loss at Maryland. They did not qualify for the Patriot League Tournament.

Ohio (2022 Record: 29-24 Overall, 21-15 MAC, RPI 117)

Ohio finished fourth in the MAC and was just a half game behind third-place finisher Toledo. Ohio qualified for the MAC Tournament but went 0-2 in the event. The Bobcats won their only Power 5 game on the season, a 9-8 win at Kentucky.

Other Out of State Nonconference Teams

The Hoos will play an additional twelve nonconference games against teams from outside of the Commonwealth. All of these games are scheduled to be played at UVA.

Columbia (32-18 Overall, 17-4 Ivy League, RPI 44) – 3 Games – February 24, 25, 26

Columbia tied Penn for the regular season Ivy League crown. And then took two out of three on the Quakers’ home field to capture the Ivy League’s auto bid to the NCAA Tournament. That Penn team featured outfielder Tommy Courtney who transferred from Penn to UVA this summer.

Columbia was sent to Blacksburg as part of the Blacksburg Regional along with host Virginia Tech, Gonzaga, and Wright State. The Lions were the regional three seed but advanced to the regional final against the Hokies. In Blacksburg, the Lions acquitted themselves well going 2-2. Both of Columbia’s wins were over regional two seed Gonzaga. Both of their losses were against regional host and top seed Virginia Tech.

In Power 5 regular season action, Columbia traveled to Baylor. Baylor won two of three games including a one run win in ten innings to clinch the series in game three.

The Hoos will have to come to play in this three game series. Columbia is an upper tier Ivy League program and will represent a much tougher competitor than last season’s Ivy visitor Cornell.

Rhode Island (20-35 Overall, 14-10 Atlantic Ten, RPI 203) – 4 Games – March 3, 4 (double header), 5

The Rams hold the distinction of participating in the wildest half-inning of college baseball I randomly watched in 2022. Playing at Holy Cross on April 13, Rhode Island sent nineteen batters to the plate in a fifteen run Top of the 2nd inning. That was enough bad baseball for me, but the memory of that game holds up several months later.

The Rams finished fourth in the A-10 during the 2022 season. They were just a half game behind third place Saint Louis in the conference standings. That qualified Rhode Island for the A-10 Tournament, but it was a quick stay as they went 0-2.

Against Power 5 competition in 2022, Rhode Island went 0-8. That includes four losses at Auburn, three losses at Tennessee, and a loss at Boston College. The Rams also lost two of three against 2022 Super Regional participant UCONN (two losses at UCONN, 1 win at their home park).

George Washington (22-30 Overall, 10-14 Atlantic Ten, RPI 239) – 1 Game – March 14

UVA and George Washington face off for the third consecutive season. The Hoos won 10 to 2 last season in Charlottesville.

The Colonials finished the 2022 season tied for eighth in the Atlantic 10 conference with Dayton. They did not qualify for the conference tournament.

Other than the one game at UVA, George Washington played an additional three games against Power 5 competition. They lost three games at South Carolina.

High Point (23-33 Overall, 14-10 Big South, RPI 196) – 1 Game – March 21

According to D1 Baseball, High Point played the twentieth most difficult nonconference schedule in 2022. That included eleven games against Power 5 competition. In those games, High Point posted a 2-9 record (0-2 NC State, 0-1 Virginia Tech, 0-1 Pitt, 0-3 Kentucky, 1-1 Wake Forest, and 1-1 Duke). Those eleven games included games at High Point against Pitt (one), NC State (one), and Wake Forest (one). High Point went 1-2 in those three games.

In addition to those Power 5 games, High Point played NCAA Regional teams Campbell and UNC Greensboro.  High Point split two games against UNC Greensboro and was swept in three games against Campbell.

The Panthers finished fourth in the Big South conference during the 2022 season. They were a half game behind third place UNC Asheville. In the Big South Tournament, High Point went 0-2.

Georgetown (32-24 Overall, 11-10 Big East, RPI 135) – 1 Game – March 22

One of the surprise teams of the 2022 season, Georgetown appears on the UVA schedule for the second consecutive season.

The Hoos topped the Hoyas 6 to 4 on April 20. A closer than expected contest, that game featured new UVA transfer pitcher Angelo Tonas in a relief pitching appearance for Georgetown.

Besides the game at UVA, Georgetown played five other games against Power 5 competition in 2022. They went 0-1 at Wake Forest, 0-3 at Maryland, and 1-0 against Penn State.

The Hoyas finished fourth in the Big East during the 2022 season. They qualified for the Big East Tournament but went 0-2 in the event.

Mount St. Mary’s (14-34 Overall, 7-20 Northeast Conference, RPI 283) – 1 Game – April 12

The Mountaineers completed their final season as members of the Northeast Conference in 2022. They’ll begin a membership in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in 2023.

Their final season in the NEC was forgettable as Mount St. Mary’s came in last place and did not qualify for the conference tournament.

Mount St. Mary’s was on the 2022 UVA schedule but the May 17 game was canceled due to travel concerns for the Mountaineers.

Against other Power 5 competition in 2022, Mount St. Mary’s went 0-1 with a loss at Penn State.

Towson (14-39 Overall, 4-19 CAA, RPI 263) – 1 Game – April 26

The Tigers are another nonconference team making a return appearance on the UVA schedule. This will be the third consecutive season the Hoos and Towson meet on the diamond.

Last season, UVA topped the Tigers 15 to 3 on on March 22 in Charlottesville.

Towson went 0-9 against Power 5 competition last season. Other than the loss at UVA, they also went 0-4 at Miami, 0-2 at LSU, and 0-2 against Maryland with one game at Towson and one in College Park.

Towson finished in last place in the CAA conference in 2022. They did not qualify for the conference tournament.

In State Nonconference Teams

A staple of any UVA Baseball schedule is a heaping serving of nonconference games against teams from within Virginia. This season is no different as the Hoos play eleven nonconference games against in state teams. All of the usual suspects you’ve become accustomed to are here.

Longwood (20-33 Overall, 10-14 Big South, RPI 227) – 1 Game – February 21

In a role that’s often reserved for VMI, the Lancers serve as the home opener for the 2023 season.

Last season, UVA defeated Longwood 8 to 3 on May 11.

Longwood finished eight in the Big South Conference during the 2022 season. There were just a game out of a three-way tie for sixth place, however. They did not qualify for the conference tournament as a result.

In addition to the game against UVA, Longwood played another eight games against Power 5 competition. The Lancers went 0-8 in those games (0-1 at NC State, 0-1 at North Carolina, 0-3 vs Purdue at a neutral site, 0-1 at Duke, 0-2 at Wake Forest).

VMI (16-40 Overall, 6-15 Southern Conference, RPI 228) – 1 Game – February 28

VMI is a constant on the UVA Baseball schedule. This will be the 142nd all time meeting between the programs.

It’s always a surprise to me, however, when the Keydets don’t serve as the home opener for the Hoos’. Last season’s home opener against VMI was the sixth time in the prior seven seasons that VMI filled that role.

VMI usually challenges the Hoos in these games. And they’ve won as recently as 2018. The Keydets, however, have been down as a program recently and these games have been less competitive than anticipated since that VMI win in 2018 (a 41 to 8 aggregate score favoring UVA).

VMI finished seventh in the Southern Conference during the 2022 season. They went 0-1 in the conference tournament to close out their season.

In addition to the game against UVA, VMI played seven other games against Power 5 competition. In those games, the Keydets went 2-5 (1-2 at Duke, 1-0 vs Penn State, 0-1 at North Carolina, and 0-2 vs Virginia Tech – 1 game in Lexington and 1 game in Blacksburg).

William & Mary (26-23 Overall, 14-10 CAA, RPI 84) – 1 Game – March 7

Another staple of the baseball schedule, the Hoos and Tribe will play for the 114th time this season. UVA owns a large advantage in the series (80-31-2) but William & Mary won as recently as 2019.

Last season, the Hoos defeated the Tribe 12 to 0 on March 1.

Under new head coach Mike McRae, William & Mary was a surprisingly strong squad in 2022. They finished fourth in the CAA but went 0-2 in the CAA Tournament.

The Tribe played two other games against Power 5 competition in 2022, going 1-1. They lost to Rutgers 1 to 0 in Williamsburg while defeating Duke 14 to 3 in Durham.

William & Mary also had four Power 5 games canceled (1 vs Penn State at a neutral site and 3 in Williamsburg vs Notre Dame).

Old Dominion (41-17 Overall, 19-11 Conference USA, RPI 46) – 1 Game – March 28

It’s been an eventful last year for the Old Dominion baseball program. They completed their final year of competition in Conference USA by tying for third in the regular season with two other teams (just a game out of second place). They then advanced to the conference tournament final where they played Louisiana Tech twice in one day with the league’s automatic bid on the line. The Monarchs lost the second and deciding game by just a run.

Despite that loss, the Monarchs had assembled a nice resume for the NCAA Tournament that included a 9 to 2 win over the Hoos at UVA on April 26. And they had a 2-0 record against national seed and Super Regional host East Carolina. However, that loss to Louisiana Tech would be the end of their season, and their stint in Conference USA, as the NCAA selection committee overlooked the Monarchs when assembling the tournament field.

Now, ODU will visit the Hoos as a member of the Sun Belt Conference. And it could be a bit of a rebuilding year for the Monarchs as they’ve lost several big bats to the transfer portal and the professional ranks.

Liberty (37-23 Overall, 19-11 Atlantic Sun, RPI 40) – 2 Games – April 4 @ Liberty, April 25

The Hoos will play Liberty twice this season. The first game between the programs will be down Route 29 in Lynchburg. The Flames will return the trip three weeks later.

Last season, Liberty earned an at large berth to the NCAA Tournament after falling to Kennesaw State in the Atlantic Sun Tournament finals. The Flames were the A Sun East Division winner and number one seed in the conference tournament.

In the NCAA Tournament, Liberty participated in the Gainesville Regional as the regional three seed. The region was hosted by the national thirteen seed Florida. It was a short stay in Gainesville for Liberty as they posted an 0-2 record with losses to regional two seed, and eventual national runner up Oklahoma, and to regional four seed Central Michigan.

During the 2022 regular season, Liberty lost to the Hoos 7-2 on April 6.

Against other Power 5 competition, the Flames went 5-6 during the 2022 regular season (2-1 at Florida, 1-1 vs North Carolina – home/away, 0-2 vs Wake Forest – home/away, 0-2 vs Virginia Tech – home/away, and 2-0 vs Duke – home/away).

This will be Liberty’s last season as a member of the Atlantic Sun. They’ll play in Conference USA beginning in the 2023-2024 college sports season.

Richmond (30-26 Overall, 11-13 Atlantic 10, RPI 217) – 1 Game – April 11

The 2022 Spiders finished the regular season in seventh place in the Atlantic 10 conference but just a game out of sixth. That qualified Richmond for the conference tournament played at VCU’s home park in Richmond. And despite being the lowest seed in the conference tournament, they advanced to the final before losing to rival VCU to end their season.

The Hoos and Spiders played once during the 2022 season, an 8 to 2 UVA win on March 29.

Against other Power 5 competition in 2022, the Spiders went 0-1, a 21 to 3 home loss to Rutgers.

VCU (42-20 Overall, 19-5 Atlantic 10, RPI 53) – 2 Games – April 18 @ VCU, May 2

Transfer RHP Chase Hungate will get two cracks at his former team this season as UVA plays their traditional two games against VCU. The first of two is the annual game at The Diamond, the home of VCU and the minor league Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Last season, VCU won the game at The Diamond in extra innings, 9 to 7, via a walk off homerun on April 8. UVA won the return trip 12 to 6 on May 4.

Against other Power 5 competition in 2022 regular season, the Rams went 0-5 (0-2 at Ole Miss, 0-1 at Wake Forest, 0-1 vs Rutgers, and 0-1 at Maryland).

VCU finished second in the A-10 conference standings, a game behind first place Davidson. The Rams hosted the A-10 tourney at The Diamond and won the league’s auto berth by virtue of beating cross-town rival Richmond in the finals.

That earned the Rams a regional three seed in the Chapel Hill Regional. VCU won their first two games over regional two seed Georgia and host / regional one seed / national ten seed North Carolina to advance to the regional finals. They were unable to advance to the Super Regionals, however, as North Carolina battled back through the loser’s bracket and took two in a row over the Rams to advance.

The VCU program enters the 2023 season in a state of flux. Head coach Shawn Stiffler left VCU for the same position at Notre Dame where he replaces the departing Link Jarrett (new head coach at Florida State). The Rams replaced Stiffler with longtime Clemson assistant Bradley LeCroy.

The coaching change resulted in the Rams losing multiple key players through the transfer portal to programs like UVA, Tulane, LSU, and Mississippi State.

James Madison (27-26 Overall, 12-11 CAA, RPI 113) – 1 Game – May 3

Grad transfer utility player Travis Reifsnider will get the chance to square off against his former teammates this season.

Another program in flux, the Dukes completed their run in the CAA last season. They’re now members of the Sun Belt Conference. As a result, the CAA did not allow JMU to participate in the conference tournament.

They did get to compete in conference play during the 2022 regular season, however, where JMU finished fifth.

The Hoos and Dukes did not play last season. Against other Power 5 competition, JMU went 1-8 (0-3 at Florida State, 0-2 at Tennessee, 1-1 vs Virginia Tech- home/away, and 0-2 vs Maryland – home/away).

Radford (15-33 Overall, 8-15 Big South, RPI 258) – 1 Game – May 10

The final nonconference game on the schedule makes it a trio of programs in flux to conclude this portion of the regular season.

Former UVA assistant Karl Kuhn’s controversial tenure at Radford ended this offseason. Replacing Kuhn is Radford baseball alum Alex Guerra who spent the last seven seasons as an assistant at James Madison.

Guerra will have a former Hoo on his roster as 2022 UVA freshman middle infielder Tristan Shoemaker transferred to Radford in the offseason.

The Highlanders’ 8-15 conference record was good for tenth in the eleven team Big South. They did not qualify for the Big South Tournament.

Against Power 5 competition in 2022, Radford went 0-5 (0-3 at NC State, 0-2 vs Virginia Tech- home/away).

 

 

By Karl Hess

UVA sports fan since the mid 80s. Graduated from UVA in 2000. Currently residing in Virginia Beach. Also not the hoops ref.