FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
FRESNO, Calif.- After a much anticipated wait, Fresno State head baseball coach Mike Batesole announced the 2014 spring schedule on Tuesday. The season’s first pitch is set for Friday, Feb. 14 on the road at UC Irvine of the Big West, while the first chance the catch the `Dogs at Beiden Field will be on Tuesday, Feb. 18 versus Grand Canyon, newly joined to the Western Athletic Conference.
Fresno State has 55 regular season games on its schedule, 30 of which will be hosted at Beiden Field. The Bulldogs will face 13 different nonconference teams, in addition to its Mountain West slate that added San Jose State to increase the league’s membership to seven teams.
“Looking ahead to 2014, we are excited to play our second season in the Mountain West,” said Batesole. “We expect our pre-Mountain West schedule to prepare us for the challenge. Our nonconference schedule is highlighted by an opening weekend series at UC Irvine, and a home series versus Texas A&M of the SEC.
“We have also been invited to make a special trip to Omaha for a weekend series with Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park, the new home of the College World Series,” Batesole added.
Also coming to Beiden Field for mid-week nonconference contests will be BYU (WCC), Cal (Pac-12), Cal State Fullerton (Big West), CSU Bakersfield (WAC), CSU Northridge (Big West), Pacific (WCC), Penn State (Big 10), Sacramento State (WAC) and UC Santa Barbara (Big West)
Of the opponents the ‘Dogs will play out of conference at home, they also travel for midweek matchups at Cal State Fullerton, CSU Bakersfield, Pacific and Sacramento State.
This season will see a change in the Mountain West schedule format with the addition of San Jose State. Fresno State will have four, three-game home and away series – Air Force, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State – and see UNLV (home) and San Jose State (away) for just one three-game series. A season ago Fresno State faced each of its conference foes once at home, and once on the road.
Fresno State will host a total of five 2013 NCAA Regional teams at Beiden Field in 2014 – Cal State Fullerton, New Mexico, San Diego State, Texas A&M and UC Santa Barbara. Four team’s ranked in Collegiate Baseball’s preseason Top 40 – Cal State Fullerton (No. 1), Texas A&M (No. 25), New Mexico (No. 37) and UC Santa Barbara (No. 39) – while eight others received votes – Bakersfield, BYU, Cal, Creighton, Sacramento State, San Diego State, UC Irvine, UNLV.
After opening the season at UC Irvine, the Bulldogs return to Fresno for what will be their longest homestand of the season, nine games. It begins on Feb. 18 with Grand Canyon and ends on March 2 with their weekend series against the Aggies of the SEC. Within the homestand, Fresno State will kick off its conference schedule with an early season MW pairing against the Wolf Pack of Nevada on Feb. 21-23.
The Diamond ‘Dogs then hit the road for a midweek nonconference bout at Raley Field with Sacramento State on March 5 and march onward for a MW conference series at Air Force on March 7-9, before returning back to Fresno after four games. Upon returning, Fresno State is home for seven more games in front of the Red Wave to give the ‘Dogs 16 of their first 23 games at home.
Fresno State will make its longest trip of the season as they travel east to play Creighton of the Missouri Valley Conference for a weekend series, March 21-23. The `Dogs last played in the state of Nebraska in 2011 for a three-game series in Lincoln versus the University of Nebraska, and prior to that visit to the Cornhusker State was the most memorable visit of all, the 2008 National Championship team’s run at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha.
In mid-April the ‘Dogs will take on their longest span of games away from home, seven. It starts with a weekend series at New Mexico on April 11-13, next a nonconference game on Tuesday, April 15 at Pacific and close with a three-game series at Nevada, April 17-19. The Bulldogs’ road trip takes place during spring recess from April 11-15.
The regular season wraps up with the 2013 MW champion San Diego State Aztecs at home, May 15-17.
The Diamond ‘Dogs will then have four days to prepare to make a run for the Mountain West Tournament Championship, hosted by UNLV, on May 21-25.