UA Will Play 32 Games Against SEC Yeams And 22 Games Vs. 2009 NCAA Teams
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama announced its 2010 college baseball schedule on Monday, which includes 32 games against Southeastern Conference teams and 22 games with teams that played in last year’s NCAA Tournament.
The list of 2009 NCAA Regional qualifiers includes Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Minnesota, Mississippi, South Carolina and Vanderbilt. Of those eight teams, four played in NCAA Super Regionals and two advanced to the College World Series.
Alabama’s non-conference series includes games against South Alabama, Illinois-Chicago, College of Charleston, Stony Brook and Minnesota.
“I think the schedule sets up pretty well and that will be similar to the schedules we would like to play in the future,” first-year Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said “We would like to play one non-conference series with an NCAA Regional-type team each year. I would like for that to be regionalized, where it is a team that would draw some interest from our fans and when we go there it would draw some interest. So I think in the future we want to have one kind of marquee weekend before we hit conference play that puts us in an atmosphere, whether it be at home or on the road, that would be similar to an SEC weekend.”
In addition to its 10-week SEC regular-season schedule, Alabama will play two non-conference games with Georgia and Auburn in 2010. The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs, who do not play a league game in the regular season for the first time since 1994, will meet on Wednesday, March 3 at Regions Park in Hoover. Alabama and Auburn will meet in the second annual Capital City Classic on Tuesday, March 9 at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery.
“I think the schedule is really good this year,” Gaspard added. “Minnesota has been really good. They’ve been in a regional almost every year. They are one of the better Big 10 teams out there. It gives you some different flavor bringing some different folks in and the name has a lot to do with it so there is some excitement among our players and fans when you bring in a Big 10 school or someone from out of our region that traditionally plays good baseball. It’s a different look and a different style.
“That’s something that we want to continue to do, along with playing the teams in the state. It’s always important to play those people here and on the road. When you put a schedule together, you want to put it together where it will continue to help you improve throughout the season.”
The Crimson Tide will also face Michigan State in a midweek game in Tuscaloosa and in-state foes Jacksonville State, Samford and UAB.
“I think early on in the season some of those marquee Tuesday and Wednesday games are important. It gives you an opportunity to play some folks you would not otherwise play that you may match up with in a regional,” Gaspard said.
“I want to look at teams that play different styles, so you become comfortable with two or three different styles of play in your opponents, so when you run into a team that plays the short game, at least you’ve prepared for that for a weekend. You may run into a base-to-base, power or power-pitching team, whatever it may be, and try to match up the best you can. Normally the style and philosophy of the head coach does not change a lot, so you try to play some folks that will make you change a little bit as far as the style of play, where you can make some adjustments as the season goes along.”
Alabama will play SEC home series’ with Vanderbilt, Auburn, Mississippi State, Florida and Mississippi in 2010, while traveling to Arkansas, Kentucky, LSU, South Carolina and Tennessee.