FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Saint Louis head baseball coach Darin Hendrickson announced the defending Atlantic 10 Conference champions’ 2011 schedule today. The slate features a nonconference schedule that includes perennial powers Arkansas and Kansas. SLU will play a number of regional rivals, including Missouri State, SIU Edwardsville, Southeast Missouri State and Southern Illinois, as well as a 24-game A-10 schedule.
“The 2011 schedule is a mix of great A-10 competition along with some high-profile nonconference teams,” Hendrickson said. “In addition to our yearly series with travel partner Charlotte and a series against A-10 power Rhode Island, we have other good series, including two other A-10 championship qualifiers in Fordham and La Salle. Early-season highlights of the schedule are contests against solid Big Ten opponents Illinois, Iowa and Northwestern and a repeat series against Big 12 power Kansas.”
“We will also have a featured game against national power Arkansas and an in-conference break with a solid Midwest weekend opponent, Missouri State,” Hendrickson said. “We all face difficulties in attempting a balanced geographical schedule, while making it competitive and attractive for our student-athletes. As we have shown, we will continue to try to play a great schedule within our 56-game limit, and we hope to continue to build off our NCAA bid last year by playing an attractive schedule for our student-athletes.”
The Billikens, who won a school-record 33 games and captured the A-10 tournament championship last season, begin the year with a four-game series at Texas-Pan American Feb. 18-20. The Billikens head to Lawrence, Kan., for a three-day tournament hosted by Kansas where they twice take on the Jayhawks and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Billikens’ first home game is March 2 when they welcome SIU Edwardsville to The Billiken Sports Center. The contest is the first of a season-long 11-game homestand, highlighted by a three-game set against Northwestern March 10-12. SLU plays three games in a March tourney hosted by Southern Illinois in which the Billikens will take on Illinois, Northern Illinois as well as the Salukis.
SLU begins A-10 play with a series at Saint Joseph’s March 25-27, and Charlotte is the first home league foe April 15-17. After an April 26 game at Arkansas, which reached the NCAA Super Regionals last season, the Billikens welcome Fordham and George Washington for consecutive conference contests. The Billikens’ final regular-season nonconference game is May 17 when they host Southern Illinois, before closing the regular season versus La Salle May 19-21.
The top six squads in the league at season’s end qualify for the 2011 Atlantic 10 Conference Championship, which for the second consecutive season takes place at Campbell’s Field outside Philadelphia beginning May 25.