FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — As many as 17 home dates at Alexander Field, including four home weekends, highlight Purdue baseball’s 2014 schedule, unveiled by head coach Doug Schreiber.
The Boilermakers are scheduled to host Penn State (April 4-6), Michigan (April 18-20), Ohio State (April 25-27) and Iowa (May 15-17) for Big Ten weekend series at home. Weather permitting, Purdue will open its home schedule on either March 19 (opponent TBA) or March 25 (IPFW).
The national season-opening weekend of college baseball is Feb. 14-16. The Boilers will open by participating in Tennessee’s three-team tournament with Nebraska-Omaha.
Stadium suites inside the Alexander Field pressbox will once again be available for fans to rent for group outings this season. Season, group and single-game tickets at Alexander Field remain one of the best deals offered by Purdue athletics. Packages for the chairback box seats behind home plate and general admission chairback bleachers down the base lines will be available once again.
Along with IPFW, the Boilermakers are also scheduled to host Louisville (April 8), Illinois-Chicago (April 23) and Indiana State (May 13) for midweek home games.
Purdue is slated to play Big Ten road series at Illinois (March 28-30), Michigan State (April 11-13), Indiana (May 2-4) and Minnesota (May 9-11) this spring. The Boilermakers will get their first look at Indiana’s and Minnesota’s new stadiums, which like Alexander Field opened last season. Meanwhile, the Boilers will be visiting Champaign-Urbana and East Lansing for the second year in a row.
Purdue’s pre-conference schedule is one of the most challenging in program history. The Boilermakers are scheduled to play at Tennessee (Feb. 14-16), Rice (Feb. 21-23), Missouri State (Feb. 28-March 2), LSU (March 7-9), San Diego State (March 14-17) and Southern Illinois (March 21-23) before opening their Big Ten slate the final weekend of March.
Indiana, Louisville and LSU all reached the 2013 College World Series. Baseball is Rice’s most successful athletics program. The Owls have made 19 consecutive NCAA Regional appearances dating back to 1995. Missouri State won 40 games and an earned a Regional berth as recently as 2012. San Diego State is coached by MLB Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. Tennessee is now in its third season under successful college head coach Dave Serrano.
The Boilermakers could play as many as their first 20 games away from Alexander Field and are assured of spending their first seven weekends of season on the road.
The Big Ten Tournament (May 21-25) will be contested at the same stadium that hosts the College World Series, TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. Purdue will be looking to start a new Big Ten Tournament streak this spring after its conference-best five-year run was snapped in 2012. The top six teams in the standings qualify for the Big Ten Tournament.
The Boilermakers will play a four-game weekend wraparound series at San Diego State, March 14-17. The week of March of 17-21 is spring break on campus. Including returning starters Josh Estill and Kyle Johnson, there were six players from the greater San Diego area on Purdue’s 2013 fall roster.
The Boilermakers are one of three Big Ten teams to have their open weekend in the conference slate on March 21-23. Purdue will be traveling to Carbondale, Ill., that weekend to return the series that SIU played at Alexander Field last season. Meanwhile, Ohio State and Iowa will be visiting West Lafayette for the second year in a row.
Nebraska-Omaha, LSU and San Diego State represent the first-time opponents on the Boilers’ 2014 schedule. Purdue has not played Tennessee since 2003 and Rice since 2005. In both cases, it will be the first-ever weekend series against both opponents.
Purdue did not play Indiana or Minnesota during the regular season the last two years. This year, the Boilers will not play Nebraska and Northwestern.