FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
OMAHA, Neb. – The opening of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha and Creighton hosting the 2011 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament for the first time since 1978 headline the release of the 2011 Creighton baseball schedule, which was released today.
The Jays will move into TD Ameritrade Park Omaha for the full season starting in 2012, but will play 12 home games in the facility this season, with the opener set for April 19 against I-80 rival Nebraska. The 24,000-seat facility will have the same field dimensions as Rosenblatt Stadium did, and will feature a natural grass field surface, different from the artificial/FieldTurf surface of the CU Sports Complex.
The ballpark, which sits just northwest of Qwest Center Omaha (where Creighton men’s basketball plays home games), and just nine blocks east of the CU Sports Complex, will also serve as the location for the State Farm MVC Tournament, running May 24-28. It marks the first time since 1978 that Creighton will play host to the tournament, which has been played in Wichita, Kan., for the past three seasons.
Creighton sets out this season aiming to win its first MVC regular season title since the 2005 season and its first State Farm MVC Tournament crown since 2007. The Jays open up play in their 56-game schedule on Feb. 19, traveling to Cary, N.C. to face Toledo and Canisius at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., respectively. Creighton will then finish up the opening weekend with an 11:00 a.m. game on Sunday, Feb. 20 with Canisius.
Creighton will take on three Big 12 opponents, traveling to Lawrence, Kan., for a Feb. 22 meeting with Kansas, while hosting an April 12 meeting at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha with 2010 NCAA Tournament participant Kansas State. Creighton will travel to face one Big 10 opponent this season, traveling to Iowa City to take on Iowa in a May 17 game.
The Jays will also meet up with New Mexico, another 2010 NCAA Tournament team, traveling to Albuquerque, N.M. over the last weekend in February. The Jays and Lobos will play a 4:00 p.m. game on Friday, Feb. 25, a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 26 starting at 1:00 p.m., and finish the weekend with a 1:00 p.m. game on Sunday, Feb. 27.
Creighton will make one final trip before opening at home on March 11. The Jays will spend spring break in Arkansas, taking on Arkansas State on March 4, 5 and 6 in Jonesboro, Ark., and then traveling to Conway, Ark., for a Tuesday/Wednesday match-up with Central Arkansas.
March 11 will mark the home opener for the Jays, when the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State travel to Omaha for a three-game series. After day trips to Air Force (a doubleheader on Wed., March 16) and Edwardsville, Ill. (meetings with SIU Edwardsville and Valparaiso on Sat., March 19), Creighton will return home for a nine game home stand. Opponents include BYU (March 21 and 22), North Dakota (March 26 and 27), North Dakota State (March 28) and Portland (April 1, 2 and 3.)
After a single non-conference game on the road at in-state rival Nebraska on Tuesday, April 5, the Jays jump into their 21-game Missouri Valley Conference schedule.
Creighton begins on the road at 2010 MVC Tournament champion Illinois State April 8-10, and will also travel to Indiana State April 15-17, Wichita State May 6-8, and Evansville May 13-15.
Creighton opens at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on April 19 with a game against Nebraska at 6:30 p.m., and will see the rubber match of the series in Omaha on May 10 at 7:00 p.m. The Jays will also welcome conference foes Southern Illinois (April 22-24), Bradley (April 29-May 1), and Missouri State (May 19-21).
The Jays will then aim to become just the second MVC etam in the last 35 years to win the tournament on their home field as they play in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament May 24-28 in Omaha at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.
Creighton finished 27-25 last season. The Jays return 20 players, including 10 pitchers from a season ago, but also welcome 14 new faces to the roster. Creighton will look for its first NCAA regional appearance since 2007, and third under head coach Ed Servais, entering his eighth season at Creighton. The .630 winning percentage under Servais ranks second-best in the MVC and best in the state of Nebraska in that span.