Caleb Stayton, a junior first baseman for the Ball State Cardinals, attempts to hit the ball while up to bat in the game against Ohio on April 1. The Cardinals’ 2017 schedule will feature a game against Coastal Carolina, the defending national champion. Grace Ramey//DN File
Ball State baseball releases schedule
Ball State baseball has released its season schedule, which is highlighted by a game against the defending national champion and a game at Victory Field in Indianapolis.
The Cardinals will head to Conway, South Carolina, for the third season in a row to take on Coastal Carolina Feb. 24. The Chanticleers (55-18, 21-3 Big South) won the College World Series last summer after running away with the Big South title.
Ball State will be in Conway from Feb. 24 to 26 and will also play George Mason and West Virginia.
2016 RPI of top Ball State opponents
5. Coastal Carolina (College World Series champion)
26. Boston College
46. Oregon State
54. West Virginia
69. Indiana State
71. Kent State (MAC regular-season champion)
97. Western Carolina
The Cardinals also play multiple games in minor league stadiums, including an April 25 showdown with Indiana at Victory Field. Last season, Ball State lost a tight 4-3 game in Bloomington, where the two teams will face off again April 2.
Bright House Field, home of the Clearwater (Florida) Threshers, will also host the Cardinals for its season-opening series Feb. 17 to 19. The Cardinals will take on Maryland (30-27, 13-11 Big Ten), SWAC-champion Alabama State (38-17, 24-0 SWAC) and Louisville (50-14, 22-8 ACC).
The Cardinals will also host a three-game series against Western Carolina (31-13, 15-9) May 12 to 14. From March 9 to 11, Ball State will play four games against Oregon State (35-19, 16-14 PAC 12).
In total, the Cardinals will play 15 games against nine teams that finished inside the RPI top 100 last season, plus the pair against No. 104 IU.