Kansas Baseball Unveils 2011 Schedule

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas head baseball coach Ritch Price announced Wednesday that the Jayhawks’ 2011 schedule has been finalized. The 55-game regular season includes 27 contests at Hoglund Ballpark, including games against Big 12 rivals Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Nebraska and Kansas State.

KU will also play 25 games against teams which qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2010 as well as showcase games at Kauffman Stadium (April 19) and at Surprise Stadium (March 3-6).

"I know our players are really excited about our 2011 schedule," Price said. "They are all looking forward to the non-conference matchups with Missouri at Kauffman Stadium, along with our spring trips to Arizona State and TCU. With non-conference games with national powers Arkansas and Wichita State, along with our Big 12 games, this schedule should be ranked among the nation’s most difficult."

The Jayhawks will open the season with perhaps their most difficult challenge of the non-conference slate – a three-game series at 2010 College World Series participant TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. KU will then host its first home game against Creighton on Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. at Hoglund Ballpark.

During the second weekend of the season, KU will host a four-team tournament – the Jayhawk Classic. The Jayhawks will play two games against Saint Louis and a game against Iowa in the tournament, while Iowa will play another game against Southern Utah at Hoglund Ballpark during the final day of the tournament.

After hosting a two-game series against Southern Utah on March 1-2, the Jayhawks will participate in the Surprise Coca-Cola Classic, which is hosted by another College World Series team – Arizona State. KU will play one game against the Sun Devils and play games against Cal State-Bakersfield, UC-Riverside and Northern Illinois.

Arizona State’s tournament is followed by another week of home non-conference action with North Dakota and Eastern Michigan coming to town March 8-13. After a road game at perennial power Arkansas on March 15, the Jayhawks open Big 12 play by hosting Oklahoma State on March 18-20. It marks just the second time in the last six years that KU has hosted its conference opener.

Starting with the Oklahoma State series, the Jayhawks will play 11 of its next 15 games at home, including Big 12 series against Baylor (April 1-3) and Nebraska (April 8-10) in what will likely be the last meeting with the Huskers as conference rivals.

After a two-game trip to Iowa April 12-13, the Jayhawks will travel to Columbia, Mo. to play a three-game series against the Border Showdown rival Tigers, April 15-17. The teams will meet for a fourth time the following Tuesday – a non-conference game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas hosts its final Big 12 series April 21-23 when national power Texas comes to town for a three-game set. The Jayhawks will then play 11 of its next 12 contests on the road, with the lone home contest a match-up with in-state rival Wichita State on May 3.

KU completes the regular season with its traditional three-game split series against Kansas State. The first game of the series will be played in Manhattan on May 20, with the May 21-22 contests scheduled for Hoglund Ballpark at 6 p.m.

"Our 2011 schedule will prepare our team to compete in the Big 12 Conference and, if we’re successful, our RPI should qualify our team for the NCAA Tournament," Price said.