FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
QUEENS, N.Y. – Head baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer has officially announced the schedule for the 2011 season. The 56-game slate includes the third annual BIG EAST-Big Ten Challenge in Florida and features a total of 11 games against five teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
“This is a very tough schedule,” said Blankmeyer. “We are going to be tested right from the start as we line up against three of the top teams at the BIG EAST-Big Ten Challenge and then go up against a Georgia Tech team that was ranked as high as No. 2 last year. The early season games will prepare us well though for an always difficult BIG EAST schedule.”
The season opens in Florida with three games as part of the BIG EAST-Big Ten Challenge . In a battle of defending conference tournament champions, the Red Storm will open the challenge against Minnesota (Feb. 18) before facing Michigan (Feb. 19) and Ohio State (Feb. 20). Three of the top teams in the conference, Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio State have combined to win nine of the past 10 Big Ten Tournament crowns.
St. John’s will then head to Atlanta for a three-game set against Georgia Tech (Feb. 25-27), the No. 8 national seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. St. John’s and Georgia Tech have not met since splitting a pair of games in the Atlantic Regional of the 1991 NCAA Tournament.
A trip to Statesboro, Ga., is next on the schedule as St. John’s meets Georgia Southern (March 4-6) for the first time in program history.
St. John’s then faces another first time opponent in UNC Greensboro (March 8) before heading to Chapel Hill to take on 2010 NCAA Tournament team North Carolina (March 9).
After a three-game set at Gardner-Webb (March 10-12), St. John’s heads to Fairfield (March 15) to close out its season-opening stretch of 15-straight road games.
The Red Storm plays its home-opener at Kaiser Stadium against Albany (March 16) before heading back on the road to play both Albany (March 19) and Holy Cross (March 20) in Worcester, Mass.
Following a midweek game at Maryland (March 23), St. John’s returns home to open BIG EAST play against Cincinnati (March 25-27).
St. John’s then embarks on a five-game road trip that begins with midweek games against LIU (March 29) and Fordham (March 30), and concludes with a three-game set against 2010 NCAA Tournament team Connecticut (April 1-3).
The Red Storm returns home to host Wagner (April 6) before heading out on another five-game road trip that begins with a three-game BIG EAST series at Seton Hall (April 8-10). The road trip concludes with games against Columbia (April 12) and Hofstra (April 13).
St. John’s then opens up a season-long eight-game homestand with a three-game set against Louisville (April 15-17), the No. 7 national seed in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
After hosting Princeton for a midweek contest (April 19), St. John’s welcomes Notre Dame for a three-game Easter weekend set that will be split into a double-header (April 21) and a single game (April 23). The homestand concludes with the Queens portion of a home-and-home set with Boston College (April 25).
St. John’s then heads to USF (April 29-May 1) for the first time since the 2007 season before returning home to open a five-game homestand with a midweek contest against Iona (May 3). After hosting Pittsburgh (May 6-8) for a three-game series, St. John’s welcomes NYIT (May 10).
A four-game road trip is next on the schedule as St. John’s heads to Georgetown (May 13-15) before playing the Chestnut Hill portion of the home-and-home series with Boston College (May 17).
St. John’s concludes the regular season with a home series against Villanova (May 19-21).