FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
Fifth-year head coach Jason Gill finalized a road-heavy 2013 schedule earlier this week, as the Lions will play only 21 of their 51 games at home in Page Stadium. The slate looks to test the Lions, as LMU will play 13 games against 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, including a pair of three-game road series at Super Regional qualifier Oregon and College World Series participant UCLA.
“We will play quite a few games against the Pac-12 this year, including three weekend series, and anytime you have to play a conference like that, you have to be on top of your game,” Gill said. “We have a tough non-conference schedule that will allow us to go to some big name baseball programs and see what it is like to play in a postseason environment. The hope is we go out and play well against those non-conference opponents and those tests prepare us for what should be another tough year of competition in the West Coast Conference.”
In addition to the six games against Oregon and UCLA, LMU will also play a road series against reigning WCC Champion Pepperdine and a single contest at Cal State Fullerton – both teams that made the tournament a year ago. In fact, LMU’s only home contests against teams who qualified for the postseason will come against WCC-foe San Diego in a three-game series.
LMU will open the 2013 slate at home versus Utah, hosting the Utes on opening weekend from February 15-17. The season-opening series is the only non-conference weekend series that will be played at home in Page Stadium. Following that series, LMU will play 19 of its next 21 games on the road, with midweek games against UC Irvine (February 26) and Long Beach State (March 12) serving as the lone home contests from February 18 through March 27.
The travel-heavy start to the year will see LMU head to USC on February 19 before opening the three-game set with Oregon in Eugene, Ore. from February 22-24. Following the February 26 showdown with UC Irvine at home, LMU travels to Las Vegas, Nev. to participate in the UNLV Rebel Classic, squaring-off against Hawai’i twice and UNLV and Bradley once from February 28 to March 3.
A road game at UC Riverside on March 5 precedes a trip to Stillwater, Okla. to meet Oklahoma State for three games from March 8-10. Following the midweek game against Long Beach State on March 12, LMU opens WCC play at Pepperdine and Saint Mary’s in back-to-back weekend series beginning on March 15. March 26 will send LMU to perennial powerhouse Cal State Fullerton for the only scheduled meeting between the two teams.
LMU will finally return home for a weekend series on March 28, opening a three-game set with Gonzaga that will feature a game on Thursday and a doubleheader on Saturday as part of Easter weekend. After a midweek game at Cal State Northridge on April 2, San Diego is next to arrive at Page Stadium, coming to town for three games starting on April 5.
LMU completes the home-and-home series with UC Riverside on April 9 before squaring-off with UCLA in a big Southern California three-game series. The Lions will stay in the Pac-12 for a midweek on April 16, welcoming USC to conclude the season series with the Trojans.
An April 23 home game against Cal State Northridge breaks up back-to-back road series in WCC play, as LMU will travel to San Francisco on April 19 before heading to Portland on April 26. The month of April concludes on the road with a midweek contest at Long Beach State on April 30, but the month of May will see plenty of Lions around the Bluff.
LMU will play seven regular season contests in the month of May, with all seven being played at home. The month begins with a three-game set against BYU on May 2 before UC Santa Barbara comes to town for the final midweek game of the year on Wednesday, May 15. The regular season comes to a close over the weekend of May 17 when Santa Clara comes to LMU for a three-game WCC series.
For the first time in WCC history, the conference will go to a four-team, neutral-site championship this year. The top four teams in the WCC will head to Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif. for a three-day championship from May 23-25, with the winner earning the WCC’s automatic bid.