FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (December 16, 2008) – West Virginia University baseball coach Greg Van Zant has announced the 2009 schedule, which features 28 games at Hawley Field.
The Mountaineers’ 56-game schedule includes a compilation of competitive games and tournaments, including the inaugural BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge that kicks off the regular season. WVU will begin the year facing Indiana on Friday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m. in St. Petersburg, Fla., before taking on other Big Ten foes in Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern during the four-game trip.
“This is definitely the most difficult schedule we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Van Zant said. “Our coaching staff and players are looking forward to the challenge that our schedule presents.”
WVU returns to the “Baseball at the Beach” Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., facing a field that includes Southeastern Conference powerhouse Tennessee, nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina and Brown.
Another SEC opponent in Kentucky, which finished last season ranked No. 25 in the final USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches’ Poll, greets WVU in a return of the Mountaineer Diamond Classic on Tuesday, March 24, at 6 p.m. at Watt Powell Park in Charleston, W.Va.
Highlighting the home slate are BIG EAST matchups against 2008 regular season conference champion St. John’s on April 9-11, as well as a three-game series that includes a doubleheader against BIG EAST runner-up Cincinnati on May 9-10.
Georgetown and Rutgers make up the other two conference home series at Hawley Field, while Connecticut, Villanova, Notre Dame, USF and Pitt compose WVU’s BIG EAST road series opponents. WVU begins conference play with a three-game road series against UConn on March 20-22.
Atlantic Coast Conference rival Maryland also makes its way to Morgantown, visiting the Mountaineers for a one-game series on Wednesday, April 29, at 5 p.m.
The BIG EAST Championship will be played on May 19-23 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. The Mountaineers made the field last season, which includes the top eight schools from the 12-team conference.
WVU finished last season with a 35-21 overall record, ending its year with the nation’s fifth-best batting average at .341. The Mountaineers return four of five All-BIG EAST performers, including 2009 Brooks Wallace Preseason Watch List players Jedd Gyorko and Justin Parks.