FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State baseball team released its 2010 schedule on Tuesday which includes five games against `09 NCAA Tournament teams, highlighted by a showdown at perennial power Texas A&M. Robbie Wine, who enters his sixth season as head coach, leads his squad against 12 different conferences and two independents. The Lions will play 22 home games at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park including clashes against conference foes Northwestern, Michigan State, Iowa and Michigan.
Along with their usual Big Ten games, the Nittany Lions are set to face teams from the BIG EAST, Big 12, MEAC, Southland Conference, Mid-American Conference, Ivy League, Big South, CAA, Patriot League, Atlantic 10 and NEC. An impressive 13 opponents finished 2009 with a winning record, including eight who had at least 35 wins and four that surpassed 40 victories.
"I am very pleased with the balance of our schedule," said Wine. "Our strong nonconference opponents should help us prepare for an always challenging Big Ten slate."
Penn State opens its season on Feb. 20-21 when it travels to Farmville, Va. to face Coppin State and Longwood. The Nittany Lions then head to Florida the following weekend to take part in the second-ever Big Ten/BIG EAST challenge. While there, they will face Cincinnati, Seton Hall and Notre Dame, looking to duplicate last season’s success when they were one of only six Big Ten squads to post a winning record.
"Playing against top competition at last year’s inaugural Big Ten/BIG EAST challenge was an invaluable experience that helped us prepare for the rest of the season," said Wine. "We are looking forward to facing three storied opponents this season."
The Nittany Lions begin a long Texas road swing on Mar. 5-7 at the YMBL Cardinal Classic hosted by Lamar University in Beaumont. They play four games in three days against McNeese State, Dallas Baptist and host Lamar (2X).
Following the tournament, Penn State ventures west to College Station to face its first NCAA Tournament team in Texas A&M on Mar. 9 and 10. The Lions make it two straight tournament teams when they face Southland Conference Champion Texas State in a three-game series from Mar. 12-14. The Bobcats had a breakout season in 2009, posting an impressive 41-17 record.
The Lions remain on the road the following weekend, at the Coca-Cola Classic hosted by Winthrop in Rock Hill, S.C. They will play Kent State on Friday, Mar. 19 before facing Columbia and Winthrop the following day. The Friday game marks the first of three meetings with the Golden Flash as the two sides reconvene in a home-and-home series just 11 days later. The consolation and championship games are set for Sunday, Mar. 21.
Penn State returns to the Keystone State and plays one final road game, at Pittsburgh on Mar. 23 before the home-opener on Mar. 26 against Hofstra. That series features four games in three days, including a Saturday doubleheader.
The Nittany Lions face an always-strong Kent State squad in a home-and-home on Mar. 30-31. The two begin in Ohio before returning to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the 31st. The Golden Flashes, who finished 2009 at 43-17, mark Penn State’s third NCAA Tournament team on the docket.
The Big Ten opener is set for the following weekend (Apr. 2-4) at Illinois. Following the series with the Illini, Penn State returns to the friendly confines for five games, against Bucknell, Northwestern (3) and Pittsburgh. The weekend series against the Wildcats marks the first conference home game of the season.
The Lions play the next two weekends on the road, at Purdue and defending Big Ten Regular Season Champion Ohio State with weekday home games against Duquesne (Apr. 20) and Mount St. Mary’s (Apr. 21) sprinkled in between.
The squad closes with 10 of its final 14 games at home, including a three-game series against Michigan State (Apr. 30-May 2), Iowa (May 7-9) and Michigan (May 20-22). In between is a huge showdown at conference power Minnesota (May 14-16) and intrastate rival Villanova (May 18).
The Big Ten tournament is set for May 26-29 in Columbus, Ohio. After failing to qualify last season, Penn State looks to make it back to the conference tournament for the third time in the last four seasons in search of its first Big Ten Title in program history.