Thirty-four home games at Clark-LeClair Stadium, including the Fifth Annual Keith LeClair Classic, highlight the 2008 East Carolina baseball schedule announced Thursday by head baseball coach Billy Godwin.
Thirteen teams on this year’s schedule recorded 30 or more wins a season ago, eight schools earned a bid to participate in the NCAA Regional in 2007, while three finished last year ranked in the top 25.
The Pirates will open the 2008 season on Friday, Feb. 22 when they travel to South Carolina for a three-game tilt at Sarge-Frye Field. The opening series marks latest starting date since Feb. 27, 1988, when ECU defeated Virginia, 11-10, at Harrington Field.
Conference USA play opens March 21 for the Pirates when they welcome league foe Houston to town for a three-game series. Other C-USA schools making the trek to Greenville in 2008 include Marshall (April 11-13), UAB (May 2-4) and Tulane (May 9-11).
League road trips for the Pirates in 2008 include games at UCF (March 28-30), Southern Miss (April 4-6) and 2007 College World Series and C-USA Champion Rice (April 18-20). ECU will close out the regular season with a trip to Memphis (May 15-17) before heading to New Orleans for the C-USA Tournament.
ECU’s home non-conference schedule is highlighted by the annual Keith LeClair Classic that pits the Pirates against Pittsburgh (March 7), Michigan (March 8) and Georgia Southern (March 9). Also scheduled for weekend series’ in Greenville are Monmouth (Feb. 29-March-2), Rhode Island (March 14-16) and Presbyterian (April 25-26).
Other non-conference opponents include 2007 NCAA Regional participants NC State and VCU, while Campbell, Elon, Old Dominion, The Citadel and UNC Wilmington also grace the schedule.
“I am very excited about this year’s schedule and the caliber of opponents coming to Greenville,” said Godwin. “We have plenty of local rivals this year that will give our fans in the Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina a chance to see the Pirates play. Our goal at East Carolina is to play teams that will give us the best opportunity to compete in post-season play and reach Omaha. Both our Conference USA and non-conference schedule certainly gives us that opportunity."
The Pirates, who finished 40-23 and made their eighth NCAA Regional in the last nine years, return 15 lettermen from a team finished second in Conference USA a year ago.