FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
A total of 32 home games at Hawks Field and 16 contests against 2010 NCAA Tournament teams highlight the 2011 Nebraska baseball schedule released Wednesday. The 56-game schedule includes 14 home games in the month of March, including a pair of non-conference series against 2010 NCAA runner-up UCLA and 2008 NCAA champion Fresno State.
“We feel like we’ve put together a schedule that is going to be one of the top schedules in our conference,” Head Coach Mike Anderson said. “I thought we had one of the toughest last year and I think we have a chance to do that again. We start out in Texas for a couple weekends against some quality competition and then we return home to play two California teams. It’s a tribute to this university and shows that our baseball program is respected to set return dates (from UCLA and Fresno State).”
Nebraska opens the 2011 season on Friday, Feb. 18, when the Huskers begin a four-game weekend at the Texas State Tournament in San Marcos, Texas. The Big Red will take on the host Bobcats, Washington, Missouri State and Air Force before returning to the Lone Star State the next week to Huntsville, Texas for four non-conference games at host Sam Houston State.
The home segment of the schedule begins Wednesday, March 2, when Nebraska hosts Nebraska-Kearney. From March 4 to 6, the Huskers welcome 2010 NCAA runner-up UCLA for its first three-game series of the year, while 2008 NCAA champion Fresno State heads to Lincoln the following week for a three-game set from March 11 to 13. Nebraska plays eight of its remaining nine games in the month of March at Hawks Field. The only road contest during that stretch is a midweek non-conference match-up at Kansas State on Wednesday, March 16.
“A nice thing about our schedule is that we play 32 home games,” Anderson noted. “We’re in a cycle where the schedule can benefit us that way. Thirty-two home games can make a difference.”
The end of March marks the beginning of another challenging Big 12 season, as the Huskers start conference play March 25-27 at Texas Tech. The April slate features three Big 12 home series against Oklahoma State (April 1-3), Kansas State (April 15-17) and Baylor (April 29-May 1), while the Huskers head to Kansas (April 8-10) and Oklahoma (April 22-24).
After the Baylor series concludes May 1, Nebraska hosts Texas (May 6-8) and travels to Texas A&M (May 13-15) before ending the regular season in a Thursday to Saturday series against Missouri (May 19-21).
“The Big 12 schedule is going to present strong challenges,” Anderson. “We’ve known this for years, but there is not a week where you have a weekend off. In the Big 12 you have to play well at home and you have to figure out a way to do well on the road. Our success in the past has been when we’ve done well on the road, and our failures have been when we haven’t.”
Nebraska will match up against familiar non-conference foe Wichita State on Tuesday, April 12 in Wichita, while the Big Red hosts Iowa on Tuesday, April 26. The annual Nebraska-Creighton series begins Tuesday, April 5 at Hawks Field before the final two games are played at the new TD Ameritrade Park on Tuesday, April 19 and Tuesday, May 10.
Postseason play begins Wednesday, May 25 as Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Ballpark plays host to the Big 12 Tournament, which returns to a double-elimination format in 2011. The NCAA Tournament starts on Friday, June 3, while the 2011 College World Series is set for June 18-29.