Early Challenges Await Big Ten Champs…
Illinois has released its 2012 college baseball schedule. The defending Big Ten champions open their season at four events over the first four weekends of the season.
The 2012 campaign opens Feb. 17-19 at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Fla. area. Illinois’ games are against Notre Dame, Louisville and St. John’s.
The Illini heads to Beaumont, TX Feb. 24-26 for four games at the YMBL Cardinal Classic, with two games each against Gonzaga and host Lamar.
A trip to Myrtle Beach and Conway, SC comes in week three. Illinois plays Coastal Carolina twice and also faces Pittsburgh and St. John’s at the Coastal Carolina Invitational.
Illinois then heads to the Pacific northwest March 9-11 for the 2012 Nike College Showcase in Corvallis and Eugene, Ore. The Illini plays Oregon, Connecticut, Oregon State, and West Virginia at the event.
Big Ten play opens March 23-25 with a trip to new conference member Nebraska. Other conference road series are at Purdue, Northwestern, and Penn State. Illinois hosts Indiana, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Minnesota in conference series.