GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Five games at Flour Field, including clashes with Big 10 Conference foes Michigan State and Illinois, and long-time foe Clemson, and three-game road series' against both N.C. State and Wichita State highlight Furman's 55-game 2018 baseball schedule, which was released today by Paladin head coach Brett Harker.
Furman will play Michigan State (Mar. 9) and Illinois (Mar. 10) at Fluor Field — part of a 31-game home schedule that also features contests against Presbyterian (Mar. 11), Clemson (Mar. 27), and South Carolina (Apr. 24) at the beautiful downtown Greenville facility that serves as the home of the Boston Red Sox Single A 2017 South Atlantic League champion Greenville Drive.
All told Furman is scheduled to play 38 games in the Palmetto state in 2018.
The Paladins open the season with a three-game series against Marist (Feb. 16-18) at Latham Stadium on campus and will play 15 of their first 21 games at home, including a three-game set against Central Connecticut State (Mar. 2-4) and rare four-game series versus Harvard (Mar. 15-17). Furman will also entertain Penn twice (Mar. 6-7).
Clemson (Feb. 20) will provide Furman its first road test, after which the Paladins travel to Raleigh, N.C., to face N.C. State (Feb. 23-25) in a three-game series before winding up the five-game road swing at South Carolina (Feb. 27).
After taking on the College of Charleston (Mar. 21) in Lexington, S.C., the Paladins venture to Wichita, Kansas, to face the Shockers of Wichita State (Feb. 23-25) in a three game set.
Furman opens Southern Conference play at home against Samford (Mar. 29-31) and hits the road the following weekend for its first league series versus defending SoCon regular season champion Mercer (Apr. 6-8).
The Paladins' other home league series' include Wofford (Apr. 13-15), Western Carolina (May 4-6), and reigning SoCon Tournament champion UNC Greensboro (May 17-19), which edged Furman in last year's SoCon Tournament title game.
The 2018 SoCon Tournament (May 22-27) will return to Greenville and Fluor Field.
The Paladins tied the school season record with 33 wins (33-28) and won 22 of their final 30 games, including 13 of their last 15 SoCon contests a year ago, in Harker's first season as head coach.
Furman returns five position regulars, including All-SoCon first baseman Brandon Elmy (.341, 11 HR, 49 RBI), right fielder Landon Kay (.332, 11 HR, 37 RBI), third baseman Jake Crawford (.309, 2 HR, 32 RBI), shortstop Bret Huebner (.289, 1 HR, 17 RBI), and second baseman (.265, 3 HR, 24 RBI). In addition, the Paladins welcome back designated hitter/outfielder Jabari Richards (.304, 6 HR, 30 RBI).
Senior left-hander Grant Schuemann (7-4, 4.19 ERA) tops list of returning Paladin pitchers. He will be joined by a pair of junior right-handers — Heath Hawkins (4-3, 4.07 ERA) and Jake Crawford (1-4, 6.33 ERA).
Hunter Reid, Furman Sports Information