LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV baseball team will play a total of 56 regular-season games, 30 of which will take place at Earl E. Wilson Stadium, announced head coach Stan Stolte Friday. In all, the Rebels will play 30 contests against Mountain West competition and 26 more against non-conference foes from seven different conferences.
The Scarlet & Gray will play 17 games against six squads that competed in postseason competition one season ago. Two of those games will take place in Lubbock, Texas against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, a 2016 College World Series participant. New Mexico (six games), Arizona State (three), Cal State Fullerton (three), Saint Mary’s (two) and Utah Valley (one) advanced to the postseason, and the quintet also appears on the 2017 docket.
In all, the Rebels will face a trio of non-conference foes that won the Big 12 (Texas Tech), Big West (Cal State Fullerton) and WAC (Seattle). Four others finished between second and fourth, as well: Omaha (Summit League/second), Saint Mary’s (West Coast Conference/third), Utah Valley (WAC/third) and UC Riverside (Big West/fourth). Games against Grand Canyon (WAC), Iowa (Big 10), Portland (WCC) and UC Davis (Big West) are also scheduled.
UNLV will open its campaign with nine straight home games, three of which will occur in a round-robin tournament format. The Rebels will host Omaha, Saint Mary’s and UC Davis at Earl E. Wilson Stadium the first weekend of play February 17-19. The Rebels and Omaha will square off, once more, on Monday, February 20 in an afternoon matinee.
The Rebels will then host two Big West more squads with a three-game, weekend set against Cal State Fullerton scheduled for February 24-26. A midweek, two-game series will follow on February 28 and March 1 against UC Riverside.
UNLV will begin its Mountain West slate on March 3-5 on the road versus the San Jose State Spartans, and the three subsequent weekends will be against Conference foes: Air Force (March 10-12/home), San Diego State (March 17-19/away) and 2016 MW champion New Mexico (March 24-26/home). The Rebels will have midweek contests against Saint Mary’s (March 6/away), Grand Canyon (March 14-15/home) and Texas Tech (March 21-22/road) in between this foursome of MW weekends.
The Rebels will jump out of league play with games on the road at Arizona State (March 28/Phoenix) and Iowa (March 31-April 2/Iowa City) and a home tilt against Utah Valley (April 4).
UNLV will face MW competition in six of its final seven weekends beginning with a trip to Air Force on April 7-9. The Rebels will also play San Diego State (April 13-15/home), New Mexico (April 21-23/away), Fresno State (May 5-7/home), Nevada, Reno (May 12-14/away) and San Jose State (May 18-20/home). There are midweek games against Arizona State (April 11 and 18) and Portland (April 25-26/home) scattered in this stretch as well as a road series at Seattle (April 28-30).
The MW Tournament will be played May 25-29 at the home field of the 2017 regular-season champion, and it will only consist of the top-four teams from the final standings.
The Rebels are coming off a season that they won 24 games in Stolte’s first season at the helm of the program. Eight of those victories came against five teams — Texas tech, Arizona State, Cal State Fullerton, New Mexico and Ohio State — that earned berths in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. UNLV will return 21 letterwinners as well as two redshirt freshmen, and welcome 13 newcomers to the roster. The team will have nearly all of its positional starters back — minus right field and catcher; however, its pitching lost D.J. Myers, Dean Kremer, Kenny Oakley and Ben Wright to the Major League Baseball Draft.