FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
RUSTON, La. – Louisiana Tech baseball head coach Wade Simoneaux announced the Bulldogs’ 2011 schedule Tuesday afternoon. The 57-game regular season schedule features 31 games at J.C. Love Field at Pat Patterson Park in addition to 14 games against four teams that played in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
“We really worked hard to get more home games on our schedule because this team was at a slight disadvantage the last couple of years playing more road games,” said the ninth-year head coach. “We tried to really build our home schedule to help give them that confidence going into conference play.”
The 2011 slate will pit the Bulldogs against teams that have a combined 17 College World Series appearances and two College World Series titles.
The Bulldogs will open the 2011 campaign Feb. 18-20 as Southern Illinois, Nicholls State and Grambling State visit Ruston to take part in the Louisiana Tech Classic.
Following a midweek game with UALR, Tech will hit the road for their first weekend series as the Bulldogs travel to Lake Charles for a three-game set with McNeese State to close out the month of February.
Tech opens the month of March with a midweek game at UALR before hosting Middle Tennessee State (March 4-6). On March 8 the Bulldogs will travel down the road and square off with Grambling State.
The highlight of the 2011 non-conference schedule will put the Bulldogs up against two perennial powers from the state of Texas – Baylor and Rice.
After splitting a pair of midweek games last season against the Bears, Tech will travel to Baylor this season for a four-game weekend series before travelling to Houston for a three-game set against national power Rice. A midweek game at UT Arlington is sandwiched between both weekend series.
The Mavericks will make a return trip to Ruston on May 3.
The Bulldogs will host Alcorn State (March 22), Texas-Pan American (March 25-27), LSU-Shreveport (April 2-3) and Northwestern State (April 5) before opening up play against the Western Athletic Conference.
“Anytime you go to Texas you are in for a fight no matter who you are playing because all of those teams are accustomed to good baseball,” said Simoneaux. “The two road series against Baylor and Rice will help prepare our team for what is coming up in conference. Conference play is never easy with the four-game weekend series which is always tough on our guys. We have to find teams that are going to make us tougher than we already are. I think we have that in our schedule.”
Tech opens conference play by hosting New Mexico State (April 8-10) before embarking on a seven-game road trip out west to face Hawai’i (April 15-18) and San Jose State (April 21-23).
Simoneaux’s squad will step out of conference play with a pair of midweek games against Grambling State (April 26) and Northwestern State (April 27) before hosting Nevada to close out the month.
The annual Battle of the Bone series will commence May 6-8 as Tech plays host to Fresno State before wrapping up the 2011 home schedule with a doubleheader against Mississippi Valley State.
Louisiana Tech will conclude regular season play May 20-22 at Sacramento State.
“One thing about our conference schedule is that three of the toughest places to play – Fresno State, Nevada and New Mexico State – are all coming to us this year,” said Simoneaux. “Those are three tough places to play at and win. Last season we only won three of those 12 games on the road so that’s a big difference in your conference standings when you are a typically better at home.”
Louisiana Tech returns 23 letterman to a roster that is infused with a healthy crop of talented arms, four all-WAC performers and a six member senior class headlined by 2010 ESPN The Magazine’s Academic All-American third team honoree, Clint Ewing.
For complete coverage of Bulldog Baseball, please visit the official home of Louisiana Tech Athletics at LATechSports.com and follow sports information contact, Austin Staton, on twitter for the latest and most current news.