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Baseball opener reinforces high preseason rank

Baseball opening 2017
UNG shortstop Michael Bell dives to stop a ball as an opposing runner slides into second base during UNG's baseball season opener against Carson-Newman University.

The University of North Georgia (UNG) baseball team emphasized a conference poll that predicted a high end-season rank with a 3-0 performance during opening weekend, Feb. 3-5. The team was picked to finish third in the league this season in a preseason poll of Peach Belt Conference (PBC) coaches.

"Our baseball team has gained steam in the past few seasons, and their first-ever PBC championship in 2015 was an impressive high note in the history of our athletics program," said Lindsay Reeves, director of athletics for UNG. "The coaches and players have been hard at work preparing for this season; it will be enjoyable watching them take on their competitive conference."

In 2016, the team finished tied atop pool play at the PBC Tournament, but missed out on the championship game by way of a tiebreaker.

The Nighthawks are ranked 27th nationally in Collegiate Baseball's preseason Top 40 poll released in December. The team has 32 regular season home games scheduled in Dahlonega at Bob Stein Stadium this year, with only 18 away games.

In the second weekend of the season from Feb. 10-12, the Nighthawks will host defending national champion and first-ranked Nova Southeastern for a three-game set. UNG will play at home every weekend in February including the Nighthawks Nest Classic, a four-team, round-robin tournament Feb. 24-26.

North Georgia will open up Peach Belt Conference action on the road traveling to Greenwood, South Carolina to take on defending Southeast Region champion and NCAA DII Championship participant, Lander University, from March 3-5. The following weekend the Nighthawks return home to host Armstrong State University in the PBC home opener on March 11 and 12.

The PBC Tournament will once again be hosted by Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina from May 10-13 in a standard eight-team, double-elimination format. 

To follow the team on their way around the region, visit the schedule on UNG's athletics website.

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