Two of the top programs in college baseball are set to face off in Charlotte each of the next two years.
South Carolina and North Carolina will play at BB&T Ballpark on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 and again in 2017, it was announced Wednesday night. Game time for the 2016 matchup is 7 p.m.
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2013 when they met in the Super Regionals in Chapel Hill. UNC won 2-1 to advance to the College World Series.
“We are looking forward to the matchup in April against North Carolina,” USC coach Chad Holbrook said in a release. “BB&T Ballpark is a tremendous facility and it will be a great setting for college baseball. The atmosphere should be electric, and our players are excited for the opportunity to play in the great city of Charlotte. I know Gamecock Nation will be there, and we look forward to seeing a lot of Garnet and Black in BB&T Ballpark.”
The $54 million stadium opened last year and is located in the Uptown area of Charlotte. It is home to the Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. The stadium holds more than 10,000 people.
The games between the two Carolinas have been in the works for more than a year.
“We are thrilled to work with both of these outstanding universities for their first game at BB&T Ballpark on April 12,” Knights Executive Vice President Dan Rajkowski said. “Hosting this game will be a great way to showcase two great Carolina baseball programs to the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.”
South Carolina and North Carolina have played 14 times since 2002 with the Gamecocks holding a 9-5 advantage in those meetings. This is the first meeting between the USC and UNC in the regular season since 2004, when the Gamecocks defeated the Tar Heels 9-4 in Fort Mill.
“We are excited to be playing in Charlotte and at beautiful BB&T Ballpark,” UNC coach Mike Fox said. “Charlotte is home to a lot of UNC fans and alumni, and I am glad they will have this opportunity to see us play against a great opponent.”
The Gamecocks’ full 2016 schedule could be released as early as next week.