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The 2023 NC State Baseball Schedule is out, and there’s a problem

Are we trying to just live on the bubble now?

COLLEGE BASEBALL: APR 26 East Carolina at N.C. State Photo by Nicholas Faulkner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NC State’s 2023 Baseball schedule is out and, well, it leaves a bit to be desired.

Non-conference games are listed below since those are the only ones within the team’s scheduling control.

2023 Non-Conference Opponents

For those doing the quick math at home, that’s a little over an average opponent RPI of 148 per non-conference game. For comparison, the 2022 schedule featured an average opponent RPI of a little over 130 per non-conference game. Here are those listed for comparison:

2022 Non-Conference Opponents

Having two weekend series against teams that finished 2022 in the 200s in RPI is inexcusable. Why not have a 3-game series against Elon instead? Why not Appalachian State, USC Upstate, Tennessee Tech, James Madison, George Mason, High Point, or Western Carolina? All seven are regional programs who finished 2022 in the 100s in RPI.

Heck, why not finally pull the trigger on trying to schedule a weekend series with ECU? I’ve been saying it for years, but a three-game series with one game in Raleigh, one game in Greenville, and one at Five County Stadium in Zebulon would be amazing and all three games would be sold out. Plus, you’d actually get the weekend starters for each team instead of throwing midweek arms or Johnny Wholestaffing it.

As for the one-off midweek games, Coastal Carolina is always going to be good and a pair of midweek games each versus UNCG and UNCW are solid. Davidson looks like a good opponent on paper, but we just took two of their best players and they lost a lot to graduation.

Yes, things can change dramatically year-to-year, but you’re banking on a lot of improvement across the board from 2022 to 2023 by those opponents for that non-conference strength of schedule to increase for NC State this year. And this is all on the backs of a year in which the Wolfpack were the first team left out of the NCAA Regional field in part because of that weak non-conference slate.

It seems the heartbreak of the NCAA Selection Show last year wasn’t enough to go out and schedule harder this year. It’s going to put a lot more pressure on the Wolfpack in ACC play.