The Tiffin University baseball team, coming off a 32 win season and a .656 winning percentage, both program records, announced their 2018 schedule.
The schedule features 19 home games, 28 GLIAC games, and a Spring Break trip to Auburdale, Florida from March 5-12. The Dragons finished 12-5 at home last year and posted their most GLIAC victories ever at 21. Tiffin also posted a winning record on the road for the first time in a decade, winning 11 games.
The season opens on February 23, in Mason, Ohio with a 9-inning affair with one of the best teams in the nation in Mercyhurst. Tiffin will also play Ohio Dominican during the weekend. The Mercyhurst Lakers finished last season 38-8 overall, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament. The Lakers finished the 2016-17 season ranked 10th in the Collegiate Baseball rankings and 3rd in the NCBWA rankings. Ohio Dominican finished last year 25-24 overall and 16-16 in the GLIAC. Tiffin took 3 of 4 games from the Panthers last season.
After Tiffin returns from their trip to Auburdale, Florida they will play a four game set with Indianapolis from March 16-18. The Greyhounds had a down season by their standards, finishing 27-23 overall and 11-17 in the GLVC. Last season Tiffin split the season series, with both games being held at Indianapolis. After a non-conference game with Findlay on March 21, Tiffin opens GLIAC play and the home part of their schedule against Saginaw Valley State. In a wind blown series last season, the Cardinals and Dragons combined to score 80 runs in four games. Tiffin will host Walsh in a non-conference game on March 27, and then will make their first trip into Michigan for a four game series with Grand Valley State from March 29-31. The Dragons won the season series with the Lakers last year, including a sweep of Grand Valley State in the GLIAC Tournament.
If you want to see Tiffin play at the friendly confines of Heminger Field, April is the month for you. Tiffin plays 14 of their 20 games at home with 12 games being always important conference matchups. The month opens with a non-conference game against rival Findlay on April 3, and then three days later the defending GLIAC Champion Northwood Timberwolves come to call for a four game set. The Timberwolves finished last year 46-13 overall and entered the NCAA Midwest Regional as the #1 team in that region. Tiffin lost five of their six games with Northwood last season including a loss in the GLIAC Tournament Championship game. After an April 10, non-conference game with Malone University, Tiffin will head to Detroit for a four game set with Wayne State University. The Warriors finished 34-21 overall and 2nd in the GLIAC last year. The Dragons travel to Walsh on April 18, and then host Davenport University from April 20-22. The Panthers are new to the GLIAC, but had tremendous success at the NAIA level last season. Davenport finished 43-17 overall, qualifying for the NAIA National Tournament. The Dragons will battle former GLIAC foe Malone on April 25, and then will host another newbie to the GLIAC in Purdue Northwest. The Pride posted a 30-18 record at the NAIA level last season and a 20-7 mark in conference games.
The Dragons regular season concludes with a four game series with Ashland University from May 4-6. Tiffin dominated the Eagles last season taking three of four games, sending Ashland to a 9th place finish in the GLIAC.
Head Coach Joe Wilkins had this to say about his schedule, ""I am very pleased with how our schedule is setting up for the spring. We are starting off in Cincinnati with Ohio Dominican and Mercyhurst, two very respected programs in the region. Ohio Dominican has really impressed me with some of the recruits Chris Antonides has brought in and Mercyhurst has been a National Top 25 Team for a few years under Joe Spano."
"Our Florida Trip is not completely set yet but I do know we are playing St. Leo, coached by long-time St. Joseph's College coach Rick O'Dette. He is going to host us for our first two games down there at their home field."
"Before we start our conference play after returning from Florida, we will travel to Indianapolis and play another regional power, Indianapolis. Coach Vaught's teams have always been competitive and were ranked in the Top 25 last year at times. We will play them one game on Friday, two on Saturday and another one on Sunday. This works out well with our conference weekends being set up the same way."
"Our schedule is tough but we will be ready. I like our team. We have a few new faces that will be on the field but we have a solid group of upperclassmen to lead the way."