Norfolk State Sports Information
NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State head baseball coach Keith Shumate released his team’s 2019 schedule on Thursday, a 49-game slate which includes 25 home games and non-conference matchups with six teams from within the state.
“Spartans love battle, and our 2019 team wants to play the very best,” Shumate said. “I am very pleased with our challenging non-conference schedule. We hope that it will give us an edge as we move through the very tough MEAC regular-season schedule and tournament.”
That schedule includes a change in format for MEAC teams in 2019. For the first time in 2019, the MEAC has moved to a Friday-Saturday-Sunday, three-game series format for conference weekends. Instead of playing a doubleheader consisting of one nine-inning and one seven-inning game on Saturdays and a single game on Sundays, the MEAC will now follow a similar format as most Division I conferences now use, with single nine-inning games on three separate days over the weekend. The only exception is the weekend of April 19-21, when conference teams will play a single game Friday and doubleheader on Saturday to avoid playing on Easter Sunday.
The Spartans will play at home for three of the four non-conference weekends to begin the year. NSU opens on the road, however, with a three-game series at James Madison in Harrisonburg on Feb. 15-17. The teams were scheduled to face each other in a mid-week game last season, but that contest was rained out.
Following the JMU series and a road game at North Carolina Central on Feb. 19, the Spartans are home for 13 of their next 16 games. That stretch includes home weekend series with NJIT (Feb. 23-24), Quinnipiac (March 1-3), Savannah State (March 9-10) and the MEAC Northern Division opener with Delaware State (March 15-17), as well as a home game against William & Mary on March 5. The Spartans also have single road matchups at Old Dominion (Feb. 26), Richmond (March 6) and Longwood (March 12) in the first month of the season.
The latter half of March and beginning of April feature 11 straight road games. The Spartans play at three straight MEAC North foes, at Maryland Eastern Shore (Feb. 22-24), Coppin State (March 29-31) and Delaware State (April 5-7) as well as mid-week road contests at William & Mary (Mach 27) and perennial ACC power Virginia on April 10. It will be the Spartans’ first game against the Cavaliers since 2009.
Following their long road swing, the Spartans return to the confines of Marty L. Miller Field for 11 consecutive games. The stretch begins with a three-game set with MDES (April 12-14) and another with Coppin State (April 19-20). The Spartans have home mid-week non-conference matchups with Longwood and North Carolina Central on consecutive days (April 23-24) before hosting Delaware State in the Spartans’ final home MEAC North series of the year on April 26-28.
In May, the Spartans cap the 24-game MEAC North schedule with a third series with MDES, this one in Princess Anne, Maryland, on May 3-5. The regular season concludes with a home game with VCU on May 8 and a short two-game road set at NCCU on May 10-11.
The MEAC Tournament returns to Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida, on May 15-18.
NSU welcomes back three of its top four hitters and five of its six primary pitchers from last year’s team, which finished 13-10 in MEAC North play in Shumate’s first year on the bench.