FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
QUEENS, N.Y. – St. John’s head baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer, the winningest coach in program-history, has released the 56-game schedule for the upcoming 2014 season. The schedule features 27 home games, trips to nine different states and a total of 21 games against teams that have made at least one NCAA Tournament appearance in the past three seasons, including four matchups against 2013 NCAA Tournament squads.
“This will be a challenging schedule, but our goal has always been to play the best teams and give our student-athletes the best possible playing experience,” said Blankmeyer. “We like to schedule teams with different styles of play, we like to schedule NCAA [Tournament] caliber teams and we like to visit different parts of the country.”
A season-opening 14-game road trip begins with the program’s first visit to California since 2008 as St. John’s heads to Malibu for a three-game set against Pepperdine (Feb. 14-16). A trip to Norfolk, Va., for the ODU Baseball Tournament is next on the schedule as the Red Storm takes on Old Dominion (Feb. 21), Saint Joseph’s (Feb. 22) and Kentucky (Feb. 23).
St. John’s then travels to the state of Florida and opens a seven-game Spring Break trip with a three-game series against Florida Atlantic (Feb. 28-March 2). Following a midweek contest against Florida Memorial (March 4), the Red Storm takes on Nebraska (March 7-8) for a three-game series before returning north to conclude the 14-game road trip against local foe Iona (March 11).
Beginning with its home-opener against Fairleigh Dickinson (March 12), St. John’s will play 11 of its next 13 games in the friendly confines of Jack Kaiser Stadium. After welcoming Holy Cross for a three-game set (March 15-16), St. John’s will make a midweek trip to Fairfield (March 18) before returning to The Jack for a midweek game against LIU Brooklyn (March 19) as well as a weekend series against James Madison (March 21-23). Following a midweek road game against Hofstra (March 25), the Red Storm hosts Sacred Heart (March 29-30) for a three-game set.
After St. John’s heads to Staten Island to take on Wagner (April 2) in midweek action, conference play begins as the Red Storm opens its 18-game BIG EAST schedule on the road against Villanova (April 4-6).
“I’m excited to start competing in the new-look BIG EAST, which I believe is going to be a very competitive baseball conference,” Blankmeyer added. “The four old squads are solid ballclubs with veteran coaches that understand what this conference has always been about and I know that the three new clubs have all really been getting after it.”
A four-game homestand follows as the Red Storm takes on Columbia (April 8) in midweek action before hosting new BIG EAST member Butler (April 11-13).
Following a trip to Albany (April 15), St. John’s hosts Princeton (April 16) before going back on the road to take on NYIT (April 18) to begin a weekend home-and-home series with the Bears. The Red Storm then returns home to host a doubleheader against NYIT (April 19) on the following day.
After meeting Boston College (April 23) in a neutral site game at Thomas Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn., for the third-straight season, St. John’s returns to BIG EAST action and hosts Georgetown (April 25-27) for a weekend series before welcoming Iona (April 30) to conclude a brief four-game homestand.
A trip to Ohio to face new BIG EAST rival Xavier (May 2-4) follows before St. John’s returns to Kaiser Stadium and opens a season-long five-game homestand with a midweek game against Albany (May 6). The Red Storm then hosts Creighton (May 9-11), the third and final new conference rival, before taking on Saint Peter’s (May 14) in the final home game of the season.
St. John’s concludes the regular season on the road with a BIG EAST series against Seton Hall (May 15-17).
Four of the seven baseball schools will qualify for the BIG EAST Championship, which will be held from May 22-25 at a yet to be announced location.