IRVINE, Calif. — The UC Irvine Baseball team will renew old acquaintances and also faces a pair of first-time opponents in 2015.
Coming off an NCAA postseason run that culminated in a College World Series appearance, the Anteaters open the season as they did in 2014. UCI takes on Fresno State (Feb. 13-15) in the season opener for the second consecutive year but will travel to the Bulldogs’ home field. The weekend against Fresno State will be followed by a trip to California, where UCI will face the Golden Bears (Feb. 20-22) in four games which includes a double-header slated for Feb. 21.
UCI entertains Tennessee in the home opener (Feb. 27-mar. 1) with the two teams meeting for the first time. The series marks a return for Tennessee coaches, Dave Serrano and Greg Bergeron, who coached the Anteaters from 2005-07. UCI then hosts San Diego State (Mar. 3) before traveling to UTSA to meet the Roadrunners, also for the first time (Mar. 6-8).
The ‘Eaters return home and kick off an 11-game homestand, beginning with a mid-week contest against USC (Mar. 10). UCI and San Jose State square off in a three-game series for the first time since 1992 (Mar. 13-15) and the CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners will travel for a weekend series at Anteater Ballpark (Mar. 20-22).
Big West action begins against Hawai’i (Mar. 27-29) and San Diego will close out the homestand Mar. 31.
The team travels to UC Riverside (Apr. 2-4), which will be helmed by Troy Percival, who was recently named the head coach of the Highlanders. Back-to-back midweek games at San Diego State on Apr. 7 and Apr. 14 sandwich the Black and Blue rivalry series against Long Beach State, (Apr. 10-12) at Anteater Ballpark.
The UC Davis Aggies travel to UCI (Apr 17-18) before the Anteaters embark on a nine-game road stretch. A trip up the 405 freeway to UCLA (Apr. 21) is followed by the annual cross-county series against Cal State Fullerton (Apr. 24-26). UCI travels to San Diego (Apr. 28) to close out the home-and-home series and then leave California for a second time in the season to travel to Minnesota to meet the Golden Gophers for the first time in program history (May 1-3). The road swing ends with the back end of an annual two-game match-up at USC on May 5.
UCI plays its last regular-season weekend series at Anteater Ballpark against Cal Poly (May 8-10). Following a midweek visit from Loyola Marymount (May 12), the Big West portion of the schedule will end on the road for the ‘Eaters with the final two weekends featuring series against UC Santa Barbara (May 15-17) and Cal State Northridge (May 21-23). The final home game of the year will be a single-game against UCLA (May 19).
Mike Gillespie, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Coach of the Year, recently signed a four-year extension with the Anteaters after leading the team to a 41-25 record in 2014. The Anteaters defeated UNLV and ousted No. 1 national seed, Oregon State at the Corvallis Regional before sweeping Big 12 champion, Oklahoma State at the Stillwater Super Regional to punch its ticket to the College World Series for the second time in the program’s Division I history. Pitchers Andrew Morales and Sam Moore were both named All-American and the Anteater pitching staff combined for the lowest ERA in program history at 2.76 while logging the highest number of saves at 27 behind Moore’s record-setting 23.