FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
Moraga, CA- The Saint Mary’s baseball team’s 2011 schedule includes early season road trips to Oregon, Southern California, and Utah, along with West Coast Conference road series at San Francisco, Gonzaga, and Pepperdine. The Gaels will play host to 26 games at Louis Guisto Field including non-conference series’ against UC Irvine and New Orleans, and WCC contests against Santa Clara, San Diego, Portland and Loyola Marymount. The schedule features 11 games against teams that reached the 2010 NCAA Tournament (Oregon, UC Irvine, UCLA, Stanford, and San Diego).
“I really like how balanced this schedule is for our team,” said head coach Jedd Soto. “We play quality opponents every weekend who will challenge this group early and often. We will start a veteran group of position players with seven of our starting nine back from last year. All four starters and our top reliever return on the mound.”
The Gaels will open the 2011 season against San Jose State February 18-20. Games one and three will be played at San Jose Municipal Field, while the Saturday game will be the home-opener in Moraga. Following the season opener, the Gaels will travel to Sacramento, CA on February 22 for the first of two midweek games with Sacramento State. The second game will be played in Moraga on April 25.
SMC will face a strong early season road test when they travel to Eugene, OR to face the Oregon Ducks in a three-game series February 25-27. The Ducks, in just their second year since returning to baseball in 2010, finished last season with a 40-24 record including a 2-2 record in the Norwich, CT regional.
Saint Mary’s will return to Moraga to host UC Irvine March 4-6. The Anteaters, with a 39-21 record in 2010, were the regular season runner-up in the Big West Conference and posted a 2-2 record in the UCLA regional, eliminated by eventual College World Series runner-up, UCLA.
The following weekend, the Gaels will travel to Los Angeles, CA to participate in the Dodgertown Classic March 11-13. They will open with a night game at the Trojans of USC, and on Saturday they battle UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The PAC 10 and national runner-up Bruins posted an impressive 51-17 record in 2010. The Gaels will conclude the tournament against traditional SEC-power Georgia at Dodger Stadium on March 13. Saint Mary’s comes back to Louis Guisto Field to host Nevada on March 15 for the first of two midweek contests. The Wolf Pack entertains the Gaels a week later on March 22 in Reno, NV.
On March 18, SMC returns to Southern California to play UC Riverside in a three-game series. The Highlanders posted a respectable 32-23 record a year ago competing in the Big West. Saint Mary’s will host New Orleans March 25-27, and then hit the road to play Stanford in Palo Alto, CA on March 29. The Cardinal will return for a midweek contest April 26 at Louis Guisto Field. Stanford was 31-25 in 2010 and participated in the Fullerton Regional of the NCAA Tournament.
April opens with a series at Southern Utah April 1-3. The West Coast Conference schedule begins against local rivals with a road series at San Francisco April 8-10, and a home series against Santa Clara April 15-17. In the middle of the two WCC series is a midweek game at UC Davis on April 12. The Gaels will play a second midweek game against the Aggies in Moraga on May 24. Saint Mary’s hits the road to take on Gonzaga in Spokane, WA April 21-23 and returns April 28-30 to host San Diego. Saint Mary’s will play midweek contests against the Cal Poly Mustangs back to back weeks, in San Luis Obispo on May 3 and in Moraga on May 10.
From May 6-8, Saint Mary’s will host the Portland Pilots. The Gaels stay at home for another WCC series May 13-15 against Loyola Marymount and host Seattle University in a non-conference four-game series May 20-22. Saint Mary’s finishes the season on the road in Malibu, CA against Pepperdine May 27-29.