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Western Michigan releases 2013 Schedule

KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan baseball released its 2013 schedule which for the second-straight year features an exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers’ prospect team during spring training in Lakeland, Fla.

The Broncos are scheduled for a total of 54 regular-season games, the first 24 (including exhibition) of those to be played on the road or at neutral sites. WMU faces four teams from the Big Ten, with a total of eight games slated against Minnesota, Michigan, Northwestern and Michigan State, and also hosts Notre Dame.

Western Michigan opens 2013 with a four-game series at Pepperdine, Feb. 15-17, then travels to Minnesota for a four-game set, Feb. 22-24. WMU heads to Florida for its annual spring break trip March 1-10, first stopping in Port Charlotte at the Snow Bird Classic for games against opponents to be determined, March 1-3 & 6. WMU breaks from the Snow Bird March 5, traveling to Lakeland for its outing against the Tigers’ prospects. The team closes out its stay in the sunshine state with a three-game series in Fort Myers against Florida Gulf Coast.

“Located on the Pacific Ocean in Malibu, Calif., Pepperdine has one of the most beautiful parks in the country,” said WMU head coach Billy Gernon. “It will be a great opportunity and experience for all of us. They have a quality program that just saw itself in the regional tournament last year.

“For the second straight year, we are thrilled to play the Detroit Tigers’ top prospects in Lakeland, Fla. Needless to say, this is a remarkable experience for our players and staff and we appreciate the Detroit Tigers for making this a possibility.”

Following the Florida trip, Western Michigan plays a three-game series at Big East opponent Cincinnati and then opens its Mid-American Conference schedule with a three-game series at Bowling Green, March 22-24. WMU travels to Michigan March 27 and then enjoys a seven-game homestand against Buffalo, Chicago State and Ball State, March 29-April 7.

Over the next month, Western Michigan plays MAC series at Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan and Akron and hosts Toledo. Non-conference games include road trips to Michigan State and Northwestern and a home-and-home series with Valparaiso.

The Broncos close out the regular season with a nine-game homestand, May 7-18, beginning with a return trip from Michigan State. WMU hosts College World Series participant and defending MAC champion Kent State, May 10-12, and welcomes Notre Dame May 14. Western Michigan finishes the year hosting rival Central Michigan, May 16-18.

The 2013 MAC Tournament is scheduled for May 22-25 at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio. Western Michigan will be looking to qualify to the tournament for the third straight season under Gernon. NCAA regionals begin May 31.

“Our 2013 schedule once again presents great opportunities found in great challenges,” said Gernon. “The ideology remains the same and that is to present a schedule that will best help us prepare to win a MAC championship and propel us to postseason play.”

Western Michigan concluded last year’s season with an overall record of 26-29, going 14-12 in conference play, for the team’s first winning MAC record since 2006.

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