LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) – The UNLV baseball team will play a total of 55 regular-season games, 30 of which will take place at Earl E. Wilson Stadium, announced third-year head coach Stan Stolte. In all, the Rebels will play 30 contests against Mountain West competition and 25 more against nonconference foes from seven different conferences.
The Scarlet & Gray will play 12 games against three squads that competed in NCAA regional play a year ago, with six of those in home-and-home series with San Diego State, a three-game home set vs. Iowa and three more at West Virginia.
The Rebels’ nonconference opponents registered a .508 winning percentage (359-347) during the 2017 campaign, as five of those won 30 or more games. Grand Canyon (Western Athletic) and Loyola Marymount (West Coast) finished atop their respective conference standings, while Columbia (Ivy League) was second and CSU Bakersfield (Western Athletic) and Indiana State (Missouri Valley) were third.
The team will also face three from the Pac-12 (Arizona State, Oregon and Utah), two from the Big West (CSUN and UC Riverside) as well as one each from the Big 12 (West Virginia) and Big Ten (Iowa) and one more from the West Coast (Portland).
UNLV opens the season with 16 of its first 18 at home. The slate kicks off with a round-robin, four-team tournament that includes Indiana State, Oregon and Loyola Marymount that will take place February 16-18. Indiana State and UNLV will play, once more, on February 18 in a Monday afternoon matinee.
“Our kids are excited about playing some of the better teams in the country,” said Stolte. “We’ll be tested right out of the chute playing three really good programs that opening weekend in Oregon, LMU and Indiana State. We’ve been working extremely hard to be prepared for every game we play.”
The Rebels will follow those four with home series against Columbia (February 23-25), Fresno State (March 2-4), CSU Bakersfield (March 6) and Iowa (March 9-11) and a single bout with Utah (March 12). Road games against UC Riverside (February 27) and CSUN (March 7) are sprinkled into the mix.
The team will transition to playing 13 of the next 16 away from Las Vegas with contests at Air Force (March 17-19), Arizona State (March 20), Utah (March 27), Nevada, Reno (March 29-31), Grand Canyon (April 3-4) and West Virginia (April 6-8). A home series against San Diego State (March 23-25) takes place during this lengthy road stretch.
The remainder of the schedule will consist of six MW series, three at home (Air Force/April 13-15; San Jose State/May 4-6; Nevada, Reno/May 11-13) and three on the road (New Mexico/April 20-22; San Diego State/April 27-29; Fresno State/May 17-19). A two-game home series against Portland (April 17-18) rounds out the Rebels’ nonconference play.
The MW Tournament will take place May 24-27 at the home stadium of the regular-season champion.
The 2018 Rebels will consist of 23 letterwinners and a pair of redshirts from last year’s roster and 13 newcomers, eight of which are freshman and five transfers.
FALL DEALINGS: Rebel baseball, which began fall practice October 5, will travel to Southern California to scrimmage Cal State Fullerton at Godwin Field on October 28. Additionally, UNLV will hold its alumni weekend on November 10-11, with a golf outing, which is open to the public, at Spanish Trail Country Club (November 10) as well as its alumni baseball game (November 11).