The schedule for the 53rd season of USF baseball was announced last week, and there is plenty to be excited about. Allow us to take an in-depth look at the 2018 slate the Bulls will attack under first-year head coach Billy Mohl.
For the fifth time in the last six seasons, the Bulls will open the year at home, this time with a three-game series against powerhouse North Carolina beginning February 16. It’s the first meeting between the schools since 1995, and the first time USF will open a season against an ACC foe.
Like they did last year, USF will head to Tallahassee in the fourth game of the year for a midweek battle against Florida State. Last year the Bulls defeated the then third-ranked Seminoles for their first road win over FSU since 1989.
Both North Carolina and Florida State hosted NCAA Regionals in 2017, and account for two of the seven teams USF will face this season that earned NCAA Regional berths last year.
USF will not leave the state of Florida until April. If you recall, 18 of the Bulls’ 19 consecutive wins last season came at home. USF will be hoping for another strong start at home this year.
Following the FSU game, USF will host Fordham for a three-gamer February 23-25 and then head to Daytona Beach for Bethune-Cookman on February 28.
The first four-game series of the season arrives when the Bulls face Columbia at home March 2-4. The Saturday game against Columbia is a scheduled doubleheader, the only one this season for USF.
USF will hit the road for a midweek game against Jacksonville on March 7, host Central Michigan for a three-game series March 9-11, and then play a couple more midweek contests against FGCU and Jacksonville at home on March 13-14.
The final non-conference series of the year is March 16-18 when USF hosts Army. It’s the first visit from a military academy since 2006, but the 17th time the Bulls and Black Knights will face each other. USF will head to Jacksonville again following the Army series for a matchup with North Florida before league play begins.
American Athletic Conference action gets underway when the Bulls welcome in the always tough UConn Huskies March 23-25. Tulane then visits from March 29-31. The American Conference had three teams selected to NCAA regionals around the country last season, and sent 26 players to the professional ranks.
The Bulls will visit Houston, the defending conference champions, April 6-8 for their first true road series of the season. USF will continue on with a three-game series at East Carolina April 13-15.
Two midweek Stetson games (March 27, April 10), one home and one on the road, are sandwiched in between those four conference series as well.
USF will wrap up the home slate hosting North Florida on April 17 and then the baseball version of the “War On I-4” arrives when C. visits April 20-22. It’s the only regular season series of the season between the two rivals.
USF won four of six regular season meetings, including a sweep of C. in Tampa last season. Of course, the Bulls would go on to lose the most important two games in Orlando that decided the AAC regular season title, and then were shut out 12-0 against C. at the AAC Championship in Clearwater.
The Bulls will welcome in Bethune-Cookman on April 24, then host Memphis in the final home series April 27-29.
USF will finish the regular season on an eight-game road trip that begins May 8 in Gainesville. The Bulls knocked off a fifth-ranked Gators team 15-10 last season on the road before meeting again in the Gainesvielle Regional and, well... we all know what happened there.
The Bulls will visit the newest conference member, Wichita State for a three-game series May 11-13 and then conclude the regular season schedule at FGCU May 15 and at Cincinnati May 17-19.
The American Athletic Conference Championship will return to Spectrum Field in Clearwater May 22-27.