FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
Charleston, S.C. – The Citadel baseball team released their schedule for the 2011 season on Monday. The Bulldogs will host 35 games at Riley Park this season, including 20 of their first 21 contests of the season.
“We have another demanding non-conference schedule this upcoming season, a bulk of which we will play at home early,” said Head Coach Fred Jordan. “The Southern Conference schedule gets tougher each year and will start earlier this season for us.”
The schedule features four teams that participated in the 2010 NCAA Tournament including Elon, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina and the defending national champions, South Carolina.
The season starts with a pair of weekends at home against non-conference competition. The Bulldogs will battle both Gardner-Webb and Towson twice in the opening weekend and then square off with Wright State and Old Dominion twice each in the last weekend of February.
The Southern Conference slate will begin a week earlier in 2011 due to new scheduling changes. Appalachian State returns to Charleston for a second straight year in the first weekend of March to kick off the SoCon schedule.
The midweek slate starts when Holy Cross comes to town on March 8 and 9 for a midweek set and marks the first time the two schools have ever met on the diamond. Samford and Davidson then visit Riley Park in back-to-back weekends as the Bulldogs play their first three conference series of the year at home.
In between those series, the Cadets hit the road for the first time for a March 15 contest at Winthrop in Rock Hill. The Bulldogs round out their home stand on March 23 when Coastal Carolina, a team that won 55 games last season and hosted a Super Regional, visits Riley Park.
A stretch then begins where eight out of nine games and 20 of the Bulldogs’ final 35 games are on the road. Beginning in late March, The Citadel heads to Wofford for a second consecutive season before returning home briefly to face cross-town foe Charleston Southern on March 29.
Renewing their annual rivalry, The Citadel then returns to Columbia, where the Bulldogs played in the NCAA Regional in June, to face South Carolina on March 30. The Gamecocks make a return trip to Charleston on April 12. The Bulldogs then open April with a three-game set at Georgia Southern in Statesboro to round out their road swing.
NCAA Regional participant College of Charleston visits Riley Park on April 8-10 before The Citadel returns to the upstate to face Furman in mid-April. A return trip to Charleston Southern is slated for April 19 and a trip to Conway to face Coastal Carolina will be on April 20 before the Bulldogs return home for a nine-game home stand.
The Citadel steps out of conference in the final weekend of April and the first weekend of May as USC Upstate visits on April 22 and 23 while Presbyterian comes to town from April 30-May 2. Winthrop returns for a midweek match-up on May 4 and Elon, who also participated in the NCAA Tournament last season, rounds out the home stint on May 6-8.
Eight of the final nine regular season games will be away from Riley Park as The Citadel makes a pair of return midweek trips to the College of Charleston on May 10 and at USC Upstate on May 11. That weekend, UNC Greensboro hosts the Bulldogs on May 13-15.
The final home game of the 2011 season will be a Tuesday match-up on May 17 against Duke out of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The two teams have not met since the 1988 season. Rounding out the regular season, the Bulldogs travel to Cullowhee, N.C. to face Western Carolina on May 19-21.
The Bulldogs look to defend their conference title when the Southern Conference Tournament returns to Riley Park for a second consecutive year. The format will remain the same with only the top eight teams qualifying. The tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 25 with the championship game on Sunday, May 29.
Beckley Promoted: Assistant Coach David Beckley, who will be entering his 10th season on the Bulldog coaching staff in the spring, has been promoted to associate head coach.
“It’s nice that Coach Jordan has had the confidence to keep me around this long,” said Beckley. “It is an honor to be a part of this program for as long as I have been and I am looking forward to another great season in 2011.”
For more information on Bulldog Baseball, visit the official website of The Citadel Athletics at www.CitadelSports.com.