Division I baseball's opening weekend is here, but not without some changes to the schedule. The large winter storm which left an imprint on the south, mid-atlantic and northeast left teams scrambling for new flights and fields without ice and snow. Below is a roundup of just some of this weekend's schedule changes. The good news to those stuck inside or snowed out this weekend? Spring really is right around the corner.
North Carolina moves series to Charleston
Due to extreme winter weather in Chapel Hill, North Carolina will open its 2014 season Saturday, Feb. 15, at the College of Charleston. The Tar Heels and Cougars will play Saturday at 2 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., and Monday at 1 p.m., at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Saturday's opener will feature UNC junior right-hander Benton Moss facing off against Charleston sophomore righty Nathan Helvey.
NC State's series at UC Santa Barbara cancelled; Wolfpack to face Canisius
NC State's season-opening trip to UC Santa Barbara has been cancelled due to severe weather in the Raleigh area. All three games of the series are cancelled.
The Wolfpack's flight to California was scheduled to depart Raleigh on Wednesday night. NC State administration, coaches, and support staff sought alternatives, but the adverse weather has presented difficulties too great to overcome.
The Wolfpack will host Canisius for a three-game series beginning on Saturday, February 15. The series will continue on Sunday and conclude on Monday. Game times are still to be determined, based on the evolving weather situation.
Hofstra unable to travel to Mississippi State; Bulldogs will play Western Carolina
Due to travel issues, Mississippi State will no longer play Hofstra in a four-game series this weekend. Instead, the Bulldogs will host Western Carolina for a three-game series at Dudy Noble Field. Hofstra was unable to make the trip as a result of extreme winter conditions.
The 2014 season opener is slated for a 7:30 p.m. ET first pitch Friday, followed by a 5 p.m. start Saturday. The series finale against the Catamounts will take place Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Southern Miss alters schedule after Stony Brook can't travel
Bad weather in the northeast is forcing cancellation of the season-opening baseball series between Southern Miss and Stony Brook this weekend at Pete Taylor Park/Hill Denson Field. Instead, the Golden Eagles will travel to Lake Charles, La., for three games against three different opponents to open the 2014 season.
The Golden Eagles now are set to open the campaign for the second consecutive year against Southeastern Conference foe Missouri, Saturday, Feb. 15, at noon ET, before taking on Chicago State at 8 p.m., later in the day at the home facility of McNeese State, Cowboy Diamond. The Golden Eagles then finish the weekend with a 5 p.m., game against the host Cowboys on Sunday.
"Unfortunately due to the weather all along the east coast, Stony Brook was unable to travel to Hattiesburg this weekend for our series," said Southern Miss baseball coach Scott Berry. "Instead, we have worked it out to play three games in Lake Charles against three quality opponents that also had opponents have issues with the weather."
South Florida changes schedule for opening weekend
Due to the recent storm that passed through the northeast, South Florida has seen drastic changes to its opening weekend schedule.
Instead of hosting Maryland Eastern Shore in a three-game series at the USF Baseball Stadium, the Bulls will now hit the road and travel to Jacksonville to partake in the Best Bet Classic hosted by the University of North Florida. The wintry weather cancelled UMES’ flight to Tampa forcing the schedule change.
USF will now open the year with a doubleheader on Saturday, February 15 beginning at 12:00 p.m. against Liberty. Following the conclusion of the season opener, the Bulls will then take on Richmond at approximately 3:00 p.m. USF concludes its weekend with a single game against host UNF on Sunday with first pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
Tournament at USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C. cancelled
Due to the winter storm that has affected much of the Eastern United States, the baseball games scheduled for the USA Baseball Complex in Cary, N.C., this weekend have been canceled. Saint Joseph's was slated to open the season against Butler, Albany, Canisius and UMass-Lowell.
The storm has brought massive amounts of snow and ice to the East Coast, and with more precipitation expected, and multiple teams unable to travel, all play at USA Baseball Complex was cancelled.
Tennessee's opening weekend reduced to three games
Due to travel difficulties brought on by the winter weather, Nebraska-Omaha will no longer be traveling to Knoxville for this weekend’s season opening series.
Tennessee and Purdue will now play an amended three-game schedule at Lindsey Nelson Stadium from Saturday-Sunday. The first game of the series will start on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.
The Vols and Boilermakers return to action with a doubleheader Sunday, with game times set for noon and 4 p.m.