FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
VESTAL, N.Y.– For the first time in program history, Binghamton University baseball will face the defending national champions. Eighteenth-year head coach Tim Sinicki’s Bearcats will face reigning NCAA champion LSU in a single game in Baton Rouge on March 31. But BU will open its 2010 season one month earlier with a three-game series at Longwood (Va.) on February 27-28.
LSU won an NCAA-best 56 games and captured the program’s sixth NCAA championship last spring, beating top-seeded Texas in the College World Series. The SEC champion Tigers have advanced to the NCAA Tournament 23 times.
Other schedule highlights include a pair of games at SEC member Tennessee as part of the Volunteers’ tournament on March 5-7. Binghamton will also face Atlantic Sun runnerup Kennesaw State (30-22) in the tournament and play three games at Sun Belt member Louisiana-Monroe, which won 32 games in 2009.
The team will also continue traditional games against in-state opponents Cornell (April 6 and 28), Siena (April 13) and Marist (April 20). The Red Foxes won 31 games and finished third in the MAAC last spring.
In all BU has a 51-game schedule – 27 non-conference games and 24 America East games. The Bearcats play their first 22 games on the road before hosting conference rival Stony Brook in a three-game set April 10-11 at Varsity Field.
The conference schedule is a new six-team format with two divisions. Binghamton will play a pair of three-game series’ against divisional mates Stony Brook and UMBC and play one four-game series against each of the other three teams (Hartford, Albany and Maine). The four teams with the best overall win percentage (in either division) will advance to the America East Championship, played May 26-28 at the highest seed.
""I am very excited with the 2010 schedule we’ve assembled," Sinicki said. "It has a great blend of traditional foes and new opponents. We’ve really tried to challege our guys with quality non-conference games both prior to and during the always-difficult America East Conference portion of the schedule."
The Bearcats have won three straight America East regular season crowns and are the reigning conference champions. Last spring, BU went 30-22 to win the program’s first-ever conference title. In its first NCAA appearance, BU knocked out nationally-ranked George Mason and averaged nine runs in three NCAA games. The Bearcats became just the third America East team in 14 years to win an NCAA game. Under Sinicki, the America East Coach of the Year in three of the last five seasons, BU has increased its win total for an NCAA-record six consecutive seasons.