FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
MOBILE, Ala. - University of South Alabama baseball head coach Steve Kittrell announced the Jags’ 2010 regular season schedule Wednesday afternoon. The 56-game slate features 32 home games, including the 25th annual South Alabama Classic.
"I think it’s a very competitive non-conference schedule, and it should prepare us for Sun Belt Conference play, which is getting better every year," Kittrell said. "We’re excited about the challenges ahead and look forward to starting practice on Jan. 29."
Kittrell’s club starts the season with 14 of its first 16 games at home. USA opens with a doubleheader against Jackson State (Feb. 19), then the Jags hit the road to take on Alabama the next day before returning home for a Sunday rematch with the Crimson Tide to round out the opening weekend.
USA hosts the South Alabama Classic the following weekend. The tournament field includes another team with a great baseball history – Wichita State – along with North Florida and Eastern Michigan. Wichita State played in the 2002 Classic, while North Florida and Eastern Michigan will be visiting Stanky Field for the first time.
Following the tournament, the Jags take on a pair of storied programs in consecutive midweek games. USA travels to Mississippi State (March 2), then gets a visit from Tulane the following day. South Alabama’s last nonconference series is a four-game set with Siena (March 5-7).
After a pair of midweek games at home against Tennessee Tech, the Jags open Sun Belt Conference play with a three-game series at Arkansas-Little Rock. The Jags took two of three from the Trojans a season ago. The Jags follow that series with a pair of midweek games at Memphis, then return to Stanky Field for the conference home opener when they host longtime rival Louisiana-Lafayette (March 19-21).
After four more road games, including a series at Middle Tennessee, the Jags return for a five-game homestand when they host Southern Miss (March 30), New Orleans (April 2-4) and Southeastern Louisiana (April 6).
The Jags hit the road for Western Kentucky the following weekend (April 9-11), but not before making a stop along the way to take on Auburn (April 7). After the three-game set with the Hilltoppers, USA heads back home for games against Nicholls State (April 13) and Louisiana-Monroe (April 16-18). The Jags took both games of a rain-shortened two-game set against the Warhawks last year.
Kittrell’s squad then travels back to Arkansas, this time to take on Arkansas State (April 23-25), and on the way back the Jags stop for games with Nicholls State (April 27) and Southern Miss (April 28), before closing with seven of the last 10 at home.
USA rounds out the regular season hosting Florida Atlantic (May 7-9), Auburn (May 11) and Troy (May 20-22), and going on the road to face Florida International (May 14-16).
The Jags’ game against Auburn will be their fifth game of the season against an opponent from the Southeastern Conference. USA went a perfect 4-0 in home games against teams from the SEC in 2009, including a win over No. 6 Ole Miss that gave Kittrell his 1,000th career win, and a win against No. 21 Alabama in front of a Stanky Field record crowd of 4,436.
The Sun Belt Conference Championship is scheduled for May 26-29 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.