FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
GREELEY, Colo. – First-year head coach Carl Iwasaki is excited to begin his first spring at the University of Northern Colorado and feels the schedule is well tailored to the 2011 team.
The Bears have 23 home games and play non-conference games against teams in the Big 12, Pac-10, Mountain West, WAC, Summit and Southland conferences, which will prepare the club for the travel intensive Great West.
“We are excited for the 2011 season,” said Iwasaki. “We’ve designed it to challenge our players to play against some of the toughest non-conference opponents in the country. Our goal going forward is to compete against the top opponents in the country which will help us prepare us to win the Great West Conference title. The Great West is a very strong conference and no one can hide in it.”
Northern Colorado begins competition on Friday, Feb. 25 at the Bearkat Baseball Tournament against former Bear standout Mike Anderson and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The team also faces host Sam Houston State in the three-team tournament.
A season ago, the team went 2-2 at the Bearkat Invitational, splitting with both Creighton and Sam Houston State.
The Bears will also play a three-game series at Arizona for the second-straight year, before hosting five-straight home games against Colorado School of Mines and South Dakota State.
The team has midweek series at Nebraska and Kansas State on back-to-back weeks at the end of March with a four-game home series against Southern Utah sandwiched between.
April begins with an eight-game road trip to New Mexico State, Air Force and the conference opener at NYIT. The Falcons come to town for a game on the 12th and the Bears return to the road for five more, playing at Houston Baptist and Air Force before returning to Jackson Field for three home series and a midweek game against Air Force to close April and start May.
The Great West season closes with trips to Chicago State and Utah Valley before the teams head to Grand Forks, N.D. for the tournament May 24-29.
The final series of the season matches the two top teams from a season ago as the Bears and the Wolverines went extra innings in the inaugural Great West Championship game at Texas-Pan American.
“We’ve committed to recruit the top players in the region and the state of Colorado and we feel this schedule helps us accomplish that,” Iwasaki stated.