LOS ANGELES – The UCLA baseball team has released its 2011 schedule, which features 25 games against teams that advanced to the 2010 NCAA Tournament, as announced by seventh-year head coach John Savage. UCLA opens the season with a three-game home series against San Francisco on Friday, Feb. 18.
The Bruins will be working toward their second consecutive trip to the College World Series in 2011 after having set a school record for single-season wins (51) in 2010. Last June, UCLA advanced to the finals of the College World Series for the first time in program history, falling to South Carolina in a best-of-three series.
“We’re very excited about next season’s schedule, both our road trips and our weekends at Jackie Robinson Stadium,” Savage said. “Our fans did a tremendous job supporting us last season, and we look for more excitement at the ballpark in 2011. The Pac-10 sent more teams to the NCAA Tournament than any other league last season, and we anticipate the conference race to be just as competitive next spring.”
UCLA’s 56-game regular-season schedule features 28 home games, 27 road games and one neutral contest against USC at Dodger Stadium. The non-conference slate includes weekend series at home against San Francisco (Feb. 18-20) and San Jose State (Feb. 25-27) and road series at Nebraska (March 4-6) and Cal Poly (March 19-21).
For the second straight year, UCLA will compete in the Dodgertown Classic, taking place in 2011 the weekend of March 11-13. This year’s four-team field includes Georgia, Ohio State, USC and UCLA. The Bruins are slated to host Ohio State and Georgia on March 11 and 12 before facing USC at Dodger Stadium on March 13.
“Last year’s game against USC at Dodger Stadium was an overwhelming success, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to play there again,” Savage said. “We had over 14,000 fans show up for our game at Dodger Stadium last February. With Ohio State and Georgia heading to Los Angeles next March, we’ll work our hardest to make sure this year’s Dodgertown Classic even better.”
The Bruins kick off Pac-10 play at crosstown rival USC (March 25-27), having won 13 of their last 16 games against the Trojans, including three-game series sweeps in 2007 and 2010.
UCLA’s home Pac-10 weekends feature series against Washington (April 1-3), Arizona (April 15-17), Oregon State (April 29-May 1) and California (May 20-22). In addition to a road series at USC, the Bruins will play Pac-10 series at Washington State (April 8-10), Stanford (April 21-23), Oregon (May 6-8) and Arizona State (May 27-29). UCLA hosts a non-conference series in May against Cal State Bakersfield (May 13-15).
Midweek contests include two games each against Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, Pepperdine, San Diego State and UC Irvine and one game at UC Riverside.
The Bruins’ last five schedules have been ranked among the top three-most difficult in the country, as ranked by Boyd’s World (strength of schedule ranking service, boydsworld.com). UCLA’s schedule was ranked No. 1 in 2006 and 2010, No. 2 in 2007 and No. 3 in 2008 and 2009.