A twilight hour opener slated for 5:05 p.m. on Monday, April 7 along with 32 home games pegged for either a Friday, Saturday or Sunday highlight the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 2014 home schedule, the club announced on Thursday.
The seventh season in club history debuts Thursday, April 3 on the road against Pawtucket before returning for the first-ever 5:05 p.m. start at Coca-Cola Park for the home opener against the Buffalo Bisons. The unique start time kicks off a seven-game homestand which includes games against both the Bisons and Northern Division for, Rochester.
The 144-game schedule once again features 72 home games at Coca-Cola Park although 46 of those dates occur in the prime summer months of June, July and August. The home schedule revolves around a number of celebrated holidays, with home games punched for Mother's Day (May 11), Memorial Day weekend (May 23-25), the days leading up to Independence Day (July 2-3) and Labor Day weekend (August 29-30).
The IronPigs host their fiercest rival Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate, for a total of eight games beginning with a four-game series, May 2-5. The teams will also tangle at Coca-Cola Park for a pair of two-game series, June 28-29 and August 29-30 to conclude the home campaign. The winner of the annual series between the IronPigs and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders captures the IronRail Trophy along with a number of other unique bragging rights and incentives.
The Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston's top Minor League affiliate, also play a total of eight games at Coca-Cola Park with series scheduled for April 26-29, July 23-24 and August 27-28.
The 2014 schedule takes a three-day hiatus July 14-16 for the annual Triple-A All-Star game between the International League and Pacific Coast League. The 2014 game will be held in Durham, N.C. on July 16.
Per International League procedure, the IronPigs will play each team in their division, the North Division, 16 times (eight home, eight away); and teams in the South and West Division eight times (four home, four away). Lehigh Valley's North Division opponents are the Buffalo Bisons (Toronto), Pawtucket Red Sox (Boston), Rochester Red Wings (Minnesota), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York-A) and the Syracuse Chiefs (Washington). Teams in the South Division are the Charlotte Knights (Chicago-A), Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay), Norfolk Tides (Baltimore) and Gwinnett Braves (Atlanta). The West Division consists of the Columbus Clippers (Cleveland), Louisville Bats (Cincinnati), Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh) and Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit).
Regular starting times remain identical with 2013 as Monday through Friday games remain predominately scheduled for 7:05 p.m. The only exceptions are for Opening Day on April 7 (5:05 p.m.), Education Day #1 on April 23 (10:35 a.m.), Education Day #2 (April 29), Education Day #3 (May 12) and Camp Day on August 5 (11:35 a.m.). Saturday games are still set for 6:35 p.m. and Sunday games are scheduled for 1:35 p.m. through June 29 and 5:35 p.m. from July 21 until the end of the regular season with the only exception a 1:35 p.m. tilt on Sunday, August 24.
IronPigs ticket plan holders can expect information on renewing their plan(s) for the 2014 season during the week of August 12-16. Those interested in purchasing a new ticket plan can call (610) 841-PIGS (7447) to place their deposit, starting at just $40 per seat for 18-game and 36-game plans and $100 per seat for full-season ticket packages. Seat selection for new plan holders will take place this fall and is based on purchase date, the type of plan purchased and availability.
The 2014 IronPigs baseball season is presented by Capital BlueCross.