FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
LAS VEGAS – A total of 35 home games, matchups with three teams that went to the NCAA Tournament last year and tilts with perennial powers Arizona and Long Beach State highlight the 2010 UNLV baseball schedule, which was announced by the athletics department Friday.
The Rebels open their season at home on Feb. 19 against Sacramento State and that begins a stretch where 19 of UNLV’s first 22 games will be at Earl E. Wilson Stadium, with a total of five teams visiting in the season’s first four weeks. Head coach Buddy Gouldsmith will begin his seventh season guiding the Rebels against his alma mater, as he graduated from Sacramento State in 1992, and he expects it to be the start to an exciting year at Wilson Stadium for Rebel fans.
Season ticket prices will remain the same as last year, with adult season tickets $80 and faculty, staff and senior citizens $45, while kids 12-and-under are free all season long. With 35 home games this season, that is less than $3 per game for an adult season ticket holder. Fans will also have the option of purchasing the new RBI Family Pack, which are four tickets to any game for $15.
"We are keeping season ticket prices the same as last year, and with the new RBI Family Pack, it will make Rebel baseball affordable fun for families to attend," Gouldsmith said. "We live in a destination city that teams want to visit and we owe it to our season tickets holders, fans and our community to play as many home games as possible. I feel like this season’s home schedule is very attractive for our fans."
Other teams that will be traveling to Las Vegas during that span include Southern Utah (Feb. 23), Temple (Feb. 26-28), Columbia (March 5-7), Northwestern (March 11-13) and Long Beach State (March 19-21). The Rebels will also play non-conference games at Arizona (March 2-3) and at Cal State Northridge (March 16) during the first month of the season. This season also has fewer doubleheaders than last year, as the NCAA reverted back to its previous start time, with the season lasting longer and allowing teams to play more midweek games.
"It will be great for college baseball and for our team to get back to playing more four-game weeks," Gouldsmith said. "That will surely make for better matchups in the middle of the week."
UNLV opens up Mountain West Conference play on the road, traveling to BYU for a three-game series on March 25-27, and the Rebels’ league opener will be against New Mexico the following week on April 1-3. The rest of the league home slate includes Air Force (April 30-May 2), BYU (May 6-8) and Utah (May 14-16), while the Rebels will travel to Utah (April 9-11), TCU (April 23-25) and San Diego State (May 20-22). The Aztecs, Horned Frogs and Utes represented the MWC in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, with TCU advancing to a super regional.
The rest of the Rebels’ non-conference home schedule includes a two-game series with Texas Tech (April 5-6) and single games against UC Riverside (April 27) and Cal State Northridge (May 18). UNLV will also travel to in-state rival Nevada, Reno (March 30), Southern Utah (April 13), Tulane (April 16-18) and UC Riverside (May 11). This will be the first trip to Tulane for Gouldsmith as a coach since he left after serving as an assistant for the Green Wave for four years, helping the school to its first-ever College World Series appearance in 2001.
"Our schedule is well-balanced and we have worked hard to ensure that it minimizes the days of school we have to miss, while giving us the opportunity to earn a regional bid without having to win the conference tournament," Gouldsmith said. "I am excited for our team to visit New Orleans. It will be a good road test in what will surely be a great college baseball atmosphere as Tulane always has big crowds, creating a difficult environment to play in."
The MWC Tournament will be hosted by San Diego State this season and it will be played at Tony Gwynn Stadium in San Diego on May 25-29, where the league’s automatic bid for the NCAA Tournament will be up for grabs. Last year the MWC set a record by having three teams advancing to play in the NCAA Tournament, with Utah earning the league’s automatic bid and San Diego State and TCU receiving at-large selections.