FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
STORRS, Conn. – University of Connecticut head baseball coach Jim Penders has announced the team’s 2013 schedule, which will open in Dunedin, Fla. against on February 15 at 4:00 pm. The UConn schedule features 14 games against opponents that played in last season’s NCAA Tournament.
“As always, the chief concern is to win in the Big East, as the regular season crown is the first possible championship in every campaign,” stated Penders. “With fourteen games scheduled against teams that were in the NCAA tournament in 2012, we have quite a challenge ahead. If we want to be the best, we’ll have to beat the best.”
Coming of a 31-27-1 record a year ago and a fifth place finish in conference play with a 16-11 league record, the Huskies will also face Indiana (Feb. 16) and a re-match against Purdue (Feb. 17), a number-one seed in last season’s NCAA Tournament, in the season-opening weekend.
UConn will also partake in the UCF Tournament, facing Central Florida (Feb. 22), Troy (Feb. 23) and Texas Tech (Feb. 24). At the Stetson Tournament, the Huskies take on Ohio State (Mar. 1), Central Michigan (Mar. 2) and the host Hatters (Mar. 3).
“Our aim in scheduling so aggressively in February and early March is to prepare our team for the rigors of the Big East. We’ve done that with the quality teams we are playing in Florida, Texas, and South Carolina and playing in Orlando will help familiarize us to Central Florida in anticipation of their arrival in the Big East in ’14.”
After the early-season tournament portion of the schedule wraps up, Connecticut travels to Texas for a three-game series with Sam Houston State between March 8 and 10. SHSU is coming off a NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012.
“We have traditional games against in-state teams and New England teams that we feel are sacred.”
The Huskies play their first games in the state of Connecticut beginning on the road at Central Connecticut (Mar. 12) in New Britain and Sacred Heart (Mar. 13) at Bridgeport’s Ballpark at Harbor Yard, home of the Bridgeport Bluefish. Winners of the Northeast Conference for a second straight season, the Pioneers participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
UConn’s final road trip south begins with a three-game set at Presbyterian from March 15 to 17, including a game at Fluor Field, a minor league ballpark in Greenville, S.C. The Huskies conclude the trip with a single game at College of Charleston on March 19. The Cougars participated in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Connecticut’s home-opener at J.O. Christian Field will also be the beginning of BIG EAST play when Georgetown visits from March 22-24. After a mid-week game against Hartford (Mar. 26), the Huskies play at conference opponent Seton Hall for a doubleheader on March 28 and the final game of the series on March 30.
The month of April features 20 games over a 28-day stretch, including 12 games at home. UConn plays host to Quinnipiac (Apr. 1) and Boston College (Apr. 2) before playing Yale (Apr. 3) in the first three days of the month.
The Huskies host St. John’s, which advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals a year ago where the Red Storm fell to eventual College World Series Champion Arizona in two games, between April 5 and 7. Connecticut stays at home following the series for a pair of non-conference game against Northeastern (Apr. 9) and Brown (Apr. 10).
The remaining BIG EAST schedule takes UConn to Villanova (Apr. 12-14), Notre Dame (Apr. 26-28) and Rutgers (May 3-5), while the Huskies will be at home against USF (Apr. 19-21) and Louisville (May 10-12). The Cardinals were the conference’s regular season champion a year ago and played in the NCAA Tournament.
Non-conference play brings Fairfield (Apr. 16), Massachusetts (Apr. 23) and Holy Cross (May 1) to Storrs, while Connecticut visits Rhode Island (May 14) and George Mason (May 16-18). The series against the Patriots will close out the regular season in place of a BIG EAST series against West Virginia, due to the Mountaineers departure to the Big Twelve.
Once again, the BIG EAST Championship will be held at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Fla. The tournament is scheduled for May 22 through 26.