FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
A season-opening trip to the inaugural BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge, and hosting the inaugural Joe Nuxhall Classic highlight the 2009 ledger for the University of Cincinnati’s baseball team. Coming off one of the finest seasons in program history, head coach Brian Cleary’s Bearcats hope to build upon the success of last year’s season and strive for a BIG EAST Championship in 2009.
The Bearcats open their season at the inaugural BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Fla. area, which features all 10 baseball-playing institutions in the Big Ten and eight BIG EAST representatives. All games will be played at various Major League Baseball spring training facilities. Cincinnati faces Purdue at Raymond A. Naimoli Complex in the season-opener on Friday, Feb. 20, before playing Michigan at Bright House Field and Ohio State at Progress Energy Park on Saturday, Feb. 21, and Sunday, Feb. 22, respectively. Raymond A. Naimoli Complex and Progress Energy Field are both former MLB spring training sites of the 2008 American League champion Tampa Bay Rays.
“I am more than excited about playing in the BIG EAST/Big Ten Baseball Challenge, which I believe will be the high profile event of the early college baseball season,” said Cleary. “I am pleased with the opportunity to play Purdue, and in particular Ohio State and Michigan, due to their recent successes, which is something I had hoped for when we signed on to play in the challenge. Given the location and all of the teams involved, I can’t imagine a better way to open the season.”
From Feb. 27 – March 1, Cincinnati heads to Davidson, N.C. to play four games in three days against Georgetown, Davidson, and Penn, before returning to the state of Ohio to play Miami (OH) in Oxford, Ohio on March 4.
Cincinnati plays its home opener on Friday, March 6, when it welcomes Bradley to Marge Schott Stadium. Cincinnati and Bradley play a four-game set, which kicks off a nine-game, 10-day homestand and includes a mid-week tilt with Dayton on March 10, and a four-game series versus Western Michigan, March 13-15.
BIG EAST action begins March 20-22, when the Bearcats travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game set. Cincinnati also travels to Rutgers (March 27-29), St. John’s (April 17-19), USF (May 1-3), and West Virginia (May 9-10) in conference action.
The Bearcats play four conference series at home that consists of reigning BIG EAST Tournament champion Louisville (April 3-5), Notre Dame (April 9-11), Villanova (April 24-26) and Seton Hall (May 14-16).
The 2009 BIG EAST Championship will take place in Clearwater, Fla. from May 19-24.
Marge Schott Stadium serves as the site for the inaugural Joe Nuxhall Classic from April 14-15. The tournament, which honors the life and legacy of the “Ol’ lefthander,” consists of Cincinnati, Miami (OH), Xavier and Wright State. On Tuesday, April 14, Miami and Wright State will meet at 3 p.m., followed by the nightcap between Cincinnati and Xavier at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, April 15, the losing teams from the previous day’s games will meet and the winning teams will square off following the completion of the first game.
Cincinnati also plays seven mid-week contests at Marge Schott Stadium this season. The Bearcats entertain Miami (OH) (March 24), Wright State (March 31), Indiana (April 1), Morehead State (April 21), Xavier (April 29), Ohio (May 5), and Butler (May 6). On the flip side, Cincinnati travels to Miami (OH) (March 4), Kentucky (March 25), Wright State (April 7), Xavier (April 28), and Ohio (May 12) for mid-week contests.
2009 College Baseball Schedule- Cincinnati