FRANKLIN, Ind. – The 2019 Franklin College baseball schedule was announced on Thursday (Jan. 10) afternoon, with the defending HCAC regular season and tournament champions set to play 18 times at John P. McDowell Field in Franklin.
First pitch of the season comes on Saturday, Feb. 23 when the Grizzlies travel to Jacksonville, Ill. for three games over two days against Elmhurst, MacMurray and Aurora. Five days later, the Grizzlies make their home debut on Friday, Mar. 1, taking on Albion College at 3:30 p.m. in a single game affair.
The next two days will take the Grizzlies to nearby Grand Park in Westfield, Ind. for a pair of games against a pair of 2018 NCAA Regional qualifiers in Denison (Mar. 2) and Marietta (Mar. 3). Following their trip north, the Grizzlies return home for three games against Hope College on Mar. 8-9. Franklin follows that up with a home-and-home against Wilmington College on Mar. 16 & 17, with the Grizzlies and Quakers meeting in Franklin on the back end of those two days.
Franklin will spend the next three weeks away from home, starting with a showdown against Thomas More on Mar. 19. The Grizzlies took all three games against the Saints last year, including an 8-6 win in an NCAA regional elimination game last May. The Grizzlies will then head to Florida from Mar. 23-27 for five games at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla.
Conference play opens on Mar. 30 with a pair of games in Lexington, Ky. against Transylvania. The Grizzlies' long road trip comes to an end on Apr. 2 with a pair of mid-week games against the Hanover Panthers.
Franklin opens a five-game homestand on Apr. 6 with a pair of games against Bluffton. The Grizzlies will then entertain DePauw for one game on Apr. 9 and Manchester for two games on Apr. 13. Franklin closes out their home schedule with twin bills against Oberlin (Apr. 21), Anderson (Apr. 30) and Defiance (May 3).
The rest of the regular season will take the Grizzlies on the road for double-headers against Rose-Hulman (Apr. 16), Earlham (Apr. 20) and Mount St. Joseph (Apr. 27). The regular season comes to an end on May 5 with a return match against Otterbein, the third and final NCAA regional qualifier on the schedule.
The 2018 HCAC Baseball Championship will be held on May 9-11 on the campus of the regular season champions. The winner of the tournament will receive the league's automatic bid into the 2019 NCAA Division III tournament, which starts on May 16.