Cards to play 31 home games, 41 games vs. BCS Conference foes & 12 games against 2009 NCAA teams
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville baseball head coach Dan McDonnell released the Cardinals’ 2010 schedule on Thursday and it includes 31 games at Jim Patterson Stadium, 41 games against BCS Conference schools and 12 games against NCAA Regional teams from last year.
The Cards, which won swept the BIG EAST Conference and regular season titles and advanced to the NCAA Super Regional in 2009, will play seven games against Big Ten competition and six games against Southeastern Conference teams, including a three-game series at reigning SEC champion Ole Miss.
“The 2010 schedule features some great opponents in some great venues that should really challenge our squad each week,” said McDonnell, who is 135-63 in three seasons in Louisville, including three straight NCAA appearances and back-to-back BIG EAST Tournament titles in 2008 and 2009. “As in years past, we continue to put an emphasis on playing against the best competition in the nation by scheduling more than 40 games against teams from the BCS conferences, as well as numerous NCAA Regional caliber squads. And as always, we’ve made it a priority to take advantage of having one of the top home facilities in the nation by playing more than 30 games at Jim Patterson Stadium.”
Louisville will open the 2010 season at home on Feb. 19-21 with a three-game series against reigning Mid-American Conference champion Bowling Green at Jim Patterson Stadium and will follow that with a mid-week game at home against Morehead State on Feb. 23.
The Cardinals will then take to the road for the first time for their first appearance in the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge hosted by St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission on Feb. 26-28. Louisville will play Michigan on Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Dunedin Stadium, spring training home for the Toronto Blue Jays, in the only night game on the opening day of the event, which will feature 10 games each day matching up teams from the Big Ten and BIG EAST.
Following the opener, the Cardinals will face Michigan State on Saturday, Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. ET at Jack Russell Stadium, the longtime spring headquarters for the Philadelphia Phillies, while Louisville’s finale will be against Minnesota, a 2009 NCAA Regional squad, on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. ET at the Naimoli Complex, former spring training host for the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Cards will return home from Florida to host a five-game homestand at Jim Patterson Stadium. Louisville will host a mid-week game against Evansville (March 3), a three-game weekend series with NCAA Division I independent Le Moyne College (March 5-7) and a mid-week game against Indiana (March 9) in a rematch of the last year’s NCAA Regional first round game in Louisville. The Cardinals will play a return game against the Hoosiers on March 30 in Bloomington.
U of L will then return to the road for a three-game series in Oxford, Miss., against Ole Miss on March 12-14 in a match-up of reigning conference championship programs. It will also be a reunion for McDonnell, who served as an assistant coach at Ole Miss from 2001-06, and Cards’ senior first baseman Andrew Clark, who played one season for the Rebels before transferring to Louisville.
After hosting 2009 NCAA Regional team Xavier on March 15 for Elementary School Day at Patterson Stadium, the Cardinals will host their final non-conference weekend series on March 19-21 against Ball State.
Following a mid-week return game at Evansville on March 23, the Cards will the defense of their 2009 BIG EAST Conference title with a three-game series at home against Connecticut on March 26-28 at Jim Patterson Stadium. The series will be a rematch of last year’s BIG EAST Tournament title game, won by Louisville 11-3 in Clearwater, Fla.
Along with UConn, the Cardinals will host BIG EAST foes Villanova (April 1-3), Seton Hall (April 23-25), Rutgers (April 30-May 2) and St. John’s (May 14-16). Louisville will play four BIG EAST opponents on the road, including Pittsburgh (April 9-11), West Virginia (April 16-18), Georgetown (May 7-9) and Notre Dame (May 20-22).
The Cardinals will play the first of two games against rival Kentucky on April 6 in Lexington, while the Wildcats will visit Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville on April 28. U of L will also play two games against 2009 NCAA Regional squad Western Kentucky on April 14 in Bowling Green and on April 21 in Louisville and a mid-week home game against in-state foe Eastern Kentucky on May 18.
On May 4-5, Louisville will travel to Columbus, Ohio for a two-game, mid-week series against 2009 NCAA Regional participant Ohio State, while on May 11, the Cards will be in Nashville, Tenn., for a mid-week game at Vanderbilt in a rematch of last year’s NCAA Regional title game, which was won by Louisville 5-3.
The 2010 BIG EAST Championship is set for May 26-30 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla., where the Cardinals have won the last two tournament titles and have an 11-2 record overall. The 2010 NCAA Championship is set to begin on June 4 with regional play.
The 2010 Louisville squad returns seven position starters and most of its pitching staff from a team that finished the season ranked 14th in the nation after making the program’s second NCAA Super Regional appearance in McDonnell’s three years as the head coach.