FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
NORMAL, Ill. – Seven 2012 NCAA Division I Tournament participants and nine teams that won 30 or more games highlight the 56-game 2013 Illinois State baseball schedule released by head coach Mark Kingston Friday. The schedule features an Illinois State-record 29 home games at Duffy Bass Field, where admission will remain free.
“We are pleased to release our 2013 schedule,” Kingston said. “The Missouri Valley Conference is as good as it has ever been and our preseason opponents should prepare us to compete at the highest level. Our goals continue to include advancing to the NCAA tournament, and I believe the number of quality opponents we face will allow us to have a very competitive RPI.”
The Redbirds will play 2012 NCAA Tournament participants Austin Peay, Belmont, Creighton, Indiana State, Miami, Missouri State and Purdue in addition to 30-plus game winners Memphis, Evansville and Southern Illinois.
Illinois State opens with 15-consecutive road games, starting with a three-game set versus Memphis in Memphis, Tenn. (Feb. 15-17). The Redbirds then travel to Clarksville, Tenn., for a three-game set at Austin Peay (Feb. 22-24) and Nashville, Tenn., for a series at Belmont (Mar. 1-3). ISU flies to Florida during its spring break and once again competes in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla. Opponents have not yet been determined for the three-game set (Mar. 8-10).
ISU will remain in Florida and travel south to Coral Gables, Fla., for a pair of midweek games versus Miami (Mar. 12-13), where Kingston was an assistant when the Hurricanes won the 2001 College Baseball World Series.
The Redbirds return to Normal, Ill., for the first of eight-consecutive games at Duffy Bass Field, starting with a four-game series versus Bowling Green (Mar. 15-17). The Redbirds also welcome in-state foes SIUE (Mar. 19) and Eastern Illinois (Mar. 22-24).
Before opening Missouri Valley Conference competition, the Redbirds travel to Champaign, Ill., for a midweek game at Big Ten opponent Illinois (Mar. 26).
ISU visits Wichita, Kan., to open its Missouri Valley Conference slate with a three-game series at Wichita State (Mar. 29-31). The remaining MVC schedule includes home series versus Missouri State (Apr. 5-7), defending conference-champion Indiana State (Apr. 19-21), Creighton (May 3-5) and Evansville (May 10-12). The Redbirds travel to MVC foes Bradley (Apr. 26-28) and Southern Illinois (May 16-18).
The remaining non-conference road schedule includes mid-week games at Eastern Illinois (Apr. 2) and at Purdue (Apr. 23). Non-nonconference home games include Northern Illinois (Apr. 9), MacMurray College (Apr. 10), Morehead State (Apr. 12-14), Illinois (Apr. 16), Illinois Wesleyan during the annual Horenberger-Bass Classic (Apr. 30) and Webster (May 1).
For the first time in program history, the Redbirds host the Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Championship (May 21-25) at Duffy Bass Field, where construction crews are currently installing a state-of-the-art Fieldturf playing surface.