FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
QUEENS, N.Y. – Head baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer has officially announced the schedule for the upcoming 2013 season, his 18th at the helm of the defending BIG EAST Tournament and regular season champions. The 56-game slate features 23 home games, a contest at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, and a total of 14 games against six teams that participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
“I think this is the most challenging schedule we’ve had in the past 10 years,” said Blankmeyer. “We have some very tough non-conference opponents and our conference schedule is always challenging, so our guys are going to be ready come tournament time.”
A season-opening 14-game road trip begins with four games in Sarasota, Fla., where St. John’s will take part in the Snowbird Baseball Classic. After opening the 2013 campaign against Florida Gulf Coast (Feb. 15), the Red Storm will take on Mercer (Feb. 16) before concluding the weekend with a double-header featuring a game against Ohio State (Feb. 17) and a second matchup with Florida Gulf Coast (Feb. 17).
St. John’s then opens a brutal stretch of seven-straight games against a trio of 2012 NCAA Tournament squads with a three-game series in Atlanta against Georgia Tech (Feb. 22-24). St. John’s then takes on two opponents that it defeated en route to winning the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional last season. After a midweek contest at North Carolina (Feb. 26), the Red Storm takes on East Carolina (March 1-3) for a weekend series.
After the 14-game road trip comes to a close with a three-game series against Radford (March 8-10), St. John’s returns to Queens and promptly opens a season-long six-game homestand. The Red Storm hosts Hofstra (March 12) in the home-opener at Kaiser Stadium before welcoming FDU (March 13). Following a three-game series against Holy Cross (March 16-17), the homestand concludes with a game against Fairfield (March 19).
A midweek game at LIU Brooklyn (March 20) is next on the schedule before St. John’s opens BIG EAST play at home with a three-game series against Pittsburgh (March 22-24).
St. John’s then makes a return to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, to take on 2012 NCAA College World Series participant Stony Brook (March 26). The Red Storm took part in the first-ever game to be played at Citi Field on March 29, 2009, opening the stadium against Georgetown in front of the 8th largest regular season crowd in NCAA history (22,397).
“It’s always nice to have the opportunity to play in a professional ballpark,” added Blankmeyer. “I just want the kids to go out and play and enjoy it because that’s the most important thing when you have this type of opportunity.”
A five-game homestand is next on the schedule as the Red Storm continues BIG EAST action with a three-game series against Cincinnati (March 28 & March 30) on Easter weekend. The homestand concludes with midweek games against NYIT (April 1) and Wagner (April 3).
St. John’s then embarks on a seven-game road trip that begins with a three-game series against Connecticut (April 5-7). Following a midweek game against Columbia (April 9), the Red Storm concludes the road swing with a conference set against Georgetown (April 12-14).
The Red Storm returns to Queens and hosts Albany (April 16) and Princeton (April 17) before welcoming 2012 NCAA Tournament squad Louisville (April 19-21) to conclude a five-game homestand.
Following a neutral site game against Boston College (April 24), St. John’s heads south to face conference foe USF (April 26-28) in a rematch of the 2012 BIG EAST Championship Finals.
After returning home for a midweek game against Iona (May 1), St. John’s heads right back to the state of Florida for a three-game series against 2012 NCAA Tournament squad Miami (May 3-5).
St. John’s concludes the home portion of its schedule with a series against Notre Dame (May 11-12) before heading to New Jersey to conclude the regular season schedule with a BIG EAST set against Seton Hall (May 16-18).
The 2013 BIG EAST Tournament runs from May 22-26 and will take place in Clearwater, Fla., at Bright House Field.