FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee baseball team and Head Coach Todd Raleigh announced the schedule for the upcoming 2011 campaign on Tuesday. Highlighting the slate are eight series against teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year, including home sets against defending national champion South Carolina, Milwaukee, Ole Miss and Auburn.
“We are excited and ready to get the 2011 season underway,” Raleigh said. “We feel that we have put together a strong schedule that will challenge our team and help it to grow throughout the year as we prepare to reach our goal of playing deep into the postseason.”
The Volunteers will play a total of 36 games in the friendly confines of the recently renovated Lindsey Nelson Stadium, including the first 15 contests of the season. UT will also host the initial ESPNU Thursday Night Southeastern Conference Baseball Game of the Week when it kicks off a three-game series against the Gamecocks (54-16) at 7:30 p.m. April 7.
“For our program to have the opportunity to host such a groundbreaking event is very exciting,” Raleigh said. “The SEC is the best conference in the country and presents a grueling test week-in and week-out for every team. We are thrilled that it will be featured on a national stage by ESPN this year.”
Tennessee is one of just two squads that will be featured in the inaugural seven-week series, a first for the sport, as it will take part in the event the following week as well when it travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to square off with Alabama (42-25) on April 14.
Fans of the Orange and White will get their first chance to see their favorite team in action against 2010 Horizon League champion Milwaukee (33-26) in the opening weekend of play, Feb. 18-20. The Vols will then welcome Canisius (39-21) to Rocky Top for a three-game set, Feb. 25-27, before hosting its only tournament of the season, March 4-6, against Bradley (20-32), Indiana (28-27) and Morehead State (24-25).
Following a pair of mid-week contests against New Orleans (13-39), Tennessee will play its final non-conference series March 11-13 against Manhattan (31-20). A Tuesday match-up versus Alabama A&M (17-32) will close out the season-opening homestand before the Vols open SEC action at Kentucky (31-25), March 18-20.
The Big Orange will later host weekend series against Ole Miss (39-24), Georgia (16-37), Mississippi State (23-33) and Auburn (43-21), while it will travel for three-game sets at Florida (47-17), Vanderbilt (46-20) and LSU (41-22). UT will not play Arkansas during the 2011 regular season.
Other non-conference foes for Tennessee include home games against Presbyterian (15-39), Appalachian State (38-18), UNC Asheville (17-35), Middle Tennessee State (35-23) and Belmont (27-27), as well as road match-ups versus Austin Peay (28-25), Lipscomb (19-36), Tennessee Tech (31-25) and MTSU.
The 2010 SEC Tournament, which features the league’s top eight finishers in the regular season, is set for May 25-29 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala. NCAA Regional action takes place June 3-6, followed by NCAA Super Regional play, June 10-13.
The NCAA College World Series will move to Ameritrade Stadium in downtown Omaha, Neb., for the first time, June 18-29. Tennessee has made four previous appearances at the College World Series (1951, 1995, 2001 and 2005).