SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Fourteen games against 2016 NCAA Regional participants, a 12-game home stand in March, 28 home games in all, seven contests against Pac-12 schools and all 56 games to be played in the state of California highlight the 2017 Cal Poly baseball schedule announced Thursday by Mustang director of athletics Don Oberhelman and 15th-year head coach Larry Lee.
The Mustangs will play just one of their first 11 games at home — against Stanford on President’s Day (Feb. 20) — then will play 12 contests in a row at Baggett Stadium, including three-game series against Loyola Marymount and Wichita State plus a four-game set against Nebraska.
The Mustangs play their first three weekend series on the road at Cal, Pacific and San Diego State. After the 12-game home stand from March 7-25, Cal Poly opens Big West Conference play at UC Irvine.
In addition to the Anteaters, Cal Poly also will play Big West series at UC Davis, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara. The UC Davis series on Easter weekend (April 13-15) includes a Friday night contest at Raley Field, home of the Sacramento RiverCats, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
Home Big West series will be against Hawai’i, Cal State Fullerton, CSUN and UC Riverside. During the bye week in conference play April 28-30, Cal Poly will play a three-game series at UCLA.
“It is another challenging schedule as we open up with the first three weekends on the road and playing 10 of 11 away from Baggett Stadium,” said Lee.
“We have seven games with Pac-12 schools, touch the Big 10 with a four-game home series against Nebraska, play a three-game series against Wichita State of the Missouri Valley Conference at home — all of that along with our 24 games in the Big West Conference, which should be the best it’s been from top to bottom in a number of years,” Lee added.
Cal Poly, which a year ago finished fourth in the Big West for the second straight season after capturing its first Big West crown and hosting a regional in 2014, will play three-game series against 2016 regional qualifiers Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara plus a four-game set against Nebraska. Cal Poly also will host regional qualifier Gonzaga for a single game March 13.
The series against the Cornhuskers includes the lone scheduled doubleheader of the year on March 25.
As they did in 2016, the Mustangs wrap up the 2017 season at home as well by hosting UC Riverside on Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27).
In addition to Stanford and Gonzaga, Cal Poly’s midweek opponents at home will be CSU Bakersfield on March 7, Santa Clara on April 11, Fresno State on April 25 and Pepperdine on May 2. Cal Poly will visit each of those four schools for midweek games as well.
Cal Poly has qualified for regional play three times in the last eight years and has finished fourth or higher in the Big West 13 times in its last 15 seasons. The Mustangs have posted eleven 30-victory campaigns since 2000, including a 32-25 mark a year ago, and have produced 14 non-losing seasons in the last 17 years.
The Mustangs were 23-8 at home last season and have won 136 of their last 179 home games for a 75.9 winning percentage.
The 2017 squad features 22 returning lettermen, including eight position players who started at least 27 games and all four starting pitchers (seven or more starts). After the Alumni Game on Feb. 11, the 2017 season officially opens Feb. 17-19 with the three-game series at Cal.