FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Head coach Robbie Wine today announced the Penn State baseball team’s schedule for the 2009 season. The 2009 schedule consists of notable games, such as the inaugural Big Ten/Big East Challenge, four contests against a prominent Texas program and 24 home events at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, home of the Nittany Lion baseball program.
The Nittany Lions kick off the 2009 campaign in St. Petersburg, Fla. area on Feb. 20 in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge, a first-year event that pits the two Midwest and Mid-Atlantic conferences against each other in Major League Baseball spring training facilities. Penn State will begin play against St. John’s – the reigning Big East champion which hovered around the Top 25 for much of the season and finished 29th in the final Collegiate Baseball poll – at Knology Park, the state-of-the-art spring training stadium of the Toronto Blue Jays, in Dunedin, Fla. Sports Illustrated named Knology one of its top five Spring Training venues in the nation. The following day, Penn State will face Big Ten-foe Northwestern in a rare nonconference game at the Naimoli Complex, the former pre-season site of the American League-champion Tampa Bay Rays, in St. Petersburg at 1 p.m. It will wrap up its trip to Florida’s Sunshine City at 10 a.m. on Feb. 22 versus Seton Hall in Clearwater, Fla. at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium, home of the minor-league Clearwater (Class A) Phillies.
After the challenge, Penn State travels to the southwest on Feb.27-March 1 to take on Texas, a team which finished No. 21 in the National College Baseball Writers of America poll, in a four-game series in Austin. It marks the first time in 57 years since the last time the two faced off on the diamond.
“It’s a challenging schedule,” head coach Robbie Wine said. “The Big East teams and Texas will provide early tests for us this spring.”
Wine’s squad returns to the Florida seaboard on March 10-11 to take on Florida Gulf Coast for two games in Ft. Myers before embarking on the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area to face Rutgers in a neutral four-game set in Boca Raton, Fla. on March 13-15.
Penn State plays its first series in its home confines of Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on March 20-22 when the Nittany Lions face off with New York Tech. After nonconference games at Kent State and Temple, the Lions come back to University Park, Pa. to battle rival Ohio State in the first conference set of the season on March 27-29.
Big Ten opponents Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota also pay a visit to the Nittany Lions’ grounds this conference season. The series against the Golden Gophers (May 14-16) rounds out the 2009 season.
“The Big Ten teams are getting better each season,” Wine said. “There’s several potential regional games that lie within this year’s schedule. It just comes down to winning games in the end.”
The Nittany Lions’ remaining nonconference home schedule sees Kent State, Pittsburgh, Duquesne, Mount St. Mary’s, La Salle and Villanova playing at Penn State’s ballpark. Penn State hosts Bucknell twice this season.
Penn State travels to Michigan, Indiana, Michigan State and Iowa in conference play. It will journey down U.S. Route 22 to face Pittsburgh in the latter half of a home-and-home series.
The winner of the Big Ten regular season tentatively will host the conference championship tournament in mid-May.
Check GoPSUsports.com for complete dates and times of the upcoming baseball season.
2009 College Baseball Schedule- Penn State