FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
MILWAUKEE – The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee baseball team will open the upcoming season on the road against the University of Tennessee, head coach Scott Doffek announced today when he released the 2011 schedule.
“We have put together a very challenging schedule,” Doffek said. “I feel like it is vitally important to challenge our guys early in the year in preparation for league play, as well as for an NCAA Regional. Any chance you get to test yourself at a high level is an opportunity to improve and I think we have done just that with this schedule.”
The Panthers, coming off a 33-26 mark, a Horizon League Tournament Championship and their fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history, begin the campaign with a three-game set in Knoxville, Tenn. The season opener is set for Friday, Feb. 18, while the home opener is scheduled for April 1 against Butler.
In between those dates, the Panthers will spend the first 21 games on the road, traveling to NCAA Super Regional-participant Arkansas for three games following the series against the Volunteers. The Razorbacks went 43-21 a year ago and spent the majority of the year in the top 15 of the national polls.
Milwaukee will open March with a return trip to Evansville for three games in the Dunn Hospitality Classic, followed by four games in California against San Jose State, UC Davis and Santa Clara.
The Panthers will then close out the month of March with four-game road trips to Ohio University (March 18-20) and IPFW (March 25-27).
UWM will host Butler for the home opener and travel to UIC the next weekend. Other April league games include a road trip to Cleveland State (15-16), three home contests against Horizon League regular-season champion Wright State (22-23) and home twinbills against Youngstown State and CSU to close out the month.
“It seems as though over the last few years, the Horizon League has really stepped up,” Doffek said. “Every weekend we know it’s going to be a battle and have to be prepared mentally and physically.”
Non-conference games against Northwestern (April 5), Carroll College (April 12), Bradley (DH April 13), Wisconsin Lutheran College (April 19), Cardinal Stritch (April 21) and Northern Illinois (April 27) round out the slate for April.
A road trip to Iowa (May 4) and YSU (May 6-7) open the final month, followed by the final non-league home game of the season against NIU (May 11). Then, the regular season wraps up with seven league games, including five against Valparaiso, closing out the campaign May 20 with a doubleheader at Henry Aaron Field against the Crusaders. The Horizon League Tournament then gets underway May 25.
“Last year, we were fortunate in winning a championship and being able to represent the league in a regional,” Doffek said. “We respect how difficult it is to do that, but we have a roster full of guys who are excited for the challenge of repeating.”