FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Head baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer announced the schedule for the 2009 season on Thursday. The 54-game schedule features non-conference trips to Florida, North Carolina and Utah, a pair of first-time opponents, five opponents that qualified for the 2008 NCAA Tournament and three-game sets at home against both Louisville, the defending BIG EAST Tournament Champions, and Notre Dame.
“Once again this season, we have a very challenging non-conference schedule that will help us prepare for BIG EAST play,” said Blankmeyer. “We are very excited about participating in the BIG EAST-Big Ten Challenge as well as the Keith LeClair Classic. Combined with our trip to Utah, we will be tested from the very beginning of the season.”
The Red Storm opens play on Feb. 20 against Penn State as part of the newly-developed BIG EAST-Big Ten Challenge hosted at various sites in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area of Florida. An opportunity for schools from two northern conferences to play in major league spring training venues, the BIG EAST-Big Ten Challenge will take place the week that major league pitchers and catchers report to spring training. St. John’s continues play in the challenge by facing Iowa for the first time in school history on Feb. 21 and concluding with Michigan on Feb. 22.
The following weekend the team will travel to Greenville, N.C., to play in the Keith LeClair Classic hosted by East Carolina. St. John’s will play host East Carolina on Feb. 27 before games against the College of Charleston on Feb. 28 and Oklahoma State on Feb. 29.
St. John’s heads to Utah the following weekend for a three-game set against BYU. On March 6, the teams will face each other for the first time since 1983 before playing a double-header on March 7. The Red Storm will remain in Utah and face Utah Valley State for the first time in school history on March 9 and 10.
The Red Storm opens play at Jack Kaiser Stadium on March 13 with an afternoon game against Albany. Continuing a four-game homestand, St. John’s plays Fairfield on March 14 and Albany again on March 15. After a day off, the Red Storm hosts Fairfield on March 17 before traveling to Hempstead to face local rival Hofstra on March 18.
BIG EAST play opens that weekend as St. John’s hosts Villanova for a three-game set from March 20-22. The Red Storm then travels to New York City to face another local rival in Columbia on March 24.
The team next heads to Washington, D.C., for a three-game BIG EAST set against Georgetown from March 27-29. After traveling to Brooklyn to face LIU on March 31, St. John’s comes home for another five-game homestand. Following an April 1 contest against NYIT, the Red Storm will host Rutgers for a three-game set April 3-5.
The Red Storm hosts Wagner on April 7 before embarking to Morgantown, W. Va., for a BIG EAST series from April 9-11.
A six-game homestand is up next for St. John’s as the squad hosts Hofstra to finish the home-and-home set on April 15. Cincinnati then comes to town for a three-game series on April 17-19. The homestand concludes with non-conference games against Princeton and Fordham on April 21 and April 22, respectively.
St. John’s will then travel to Storrs, Conn., for the first time since 2004 to play a three- game set with Connecticut on April 24-26. After finishing a home-and-home set with a game at NYIT on April 28, St. John’s hosts FDU on April 29.
A three-game series at Seton Hall is next on schedule. After a game against the Pirates on May 1, the teams will play a double-header on May 2.
The Red Storm concludes the regular season with an eight-game homestand. St. John’s will play Temple on May 4 before closing out non-conference play against Iona on May 5. The Red Storm will then play a double-header against Louisville on May 9 before finishing the series against the Cardinals on May 10. St. John’s will close out the regular season with a three-game set against Notre Dame from May 14-16.
The BIG EAST Tournament, once again in Clearwater, Fla., takes place from May 19-23.