MACOMB, Ill. – Western Illinois baseball opens the 2016 season in February at Tennessee Tech, and will eventually play 16 games at Alfred D. Boyer Stadium, as the schedule was announced on Friday (Nov. 20).
“I feel really good with how our schedule lines up. We are heading to a couple of new places early with Tennessee Tech, SIU and Northern Kentucky. We are heading back to Arkansas and Missouri State who both played in the Super Regionals against each other last year, although it was three years ago that we were at both places,” said head coach Ryan Brownlee. “Our midweek games are the same as last year excluding UW-Milwaukee. We are fortunate to have good programs close to us that want to play every year. Our league should be ultra competitive again this year. I am really looking forward to watching our team compete this spring.”
The Fighting Leathernecks open the season at Tennessee Tech for a three-game series (Feb. 19-21). The following weekend Western travels to Southern Illinois (Feb. 26-28).
March opens with a four-game series at Northern Kentucky (March 5-6) followed by another weekend series at Arkansas (March 11-13), the team that Brownlee picked up his first victory as a collegiate head coach back when the Razorbacks were the preseason #1 ranked team in the country at the time.
Following a series at Missouri State (March 15-16), Western opens Summit League play at home versus North Dakota State (March 18-20). The month closes out with a series versus South Dakota State (March 25-27) and a single-game against Illinois-Springfield (March 29), both at home.
Western travels to Omaha (April 1-3) for a weekend series then a single game at Bradley (April 6). The Leathernecks return to Boyer Stadium for seven consecutive games, playing host to Oral Roberts (April 8-10), St. Ambrose (April 13) and Fort Wayne (April 15-17).
Baseball will travel to SIU-Edwardsville on April 20, opening a home-and-home series with the Cougars (in Macomb on April 27). Western will also play a home-and-home against Iowa, at the Hawkeyes on May 3 and home on May 17.
The Fighting Leathernecks reach the toughest part of their Summit League schedule with consecutive road weekend series at: NDSU (April 22-24), SDSU (April 29-May 1) and Oral Roberts (May 6-8). Western returns home to face Omaha (May 13-15) before traveling to Fort Wayne (May 19-21) to close out the regular season.
The Summit League Tournament will take place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on the campus of Oral Roberts on May 25-28. The winner will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.