VILLANOVA, Pa.–The spring schedule for the 2010 season has been finalized and was released today, as Villanova will begin its 56-game regular season schedule on Friday, February 19. The team’s schedule includes 29 games against non-conference opponents in addition to the 27-game BIG EAST slate.
The highlight of the non-conference schedule is the Wildcats first appearance in the Big Ten/BIG EAST Baseball Challenge in the Tampa area in late February. Villanova will face 2009 Big Ten champion Indiana in the second of three games at the tournament, while also taking on Purdue and Iowa.
During the annual Spring Break trip to Florida – which begins with the Big Ten/BIG EAST competition – the Wildcats will take part in two different tournaments. The second is the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational, which is being held at Chain of Lakes Park in Winter Haven, the former spring training home of the Cleveland Indians.
Villanova will be playing in Winter Haven for the first time under ninth-year head coach Joe Godri, and will take on Duquesne, Kansas State, Western Michigan, Northeastern and St. Bonaventure at the tournament. The contest against Kansas State will be the Wildcats first against a team from the Big 12 Conference since Villanova played a three-game series at Texas back in 2006.
A pair of home tournaments are also featured on the Wildcats schedule, as the team will host the Villanova Classic as well as the Big Five Baseball Bash. The second of the two tournaments is being hosted in conjunction with La Salle, Saint Joseph’s and Temple.
“I am very pleased with the makeup of our non-conference schedule,” Godri said. “We are looking forward to playing in the Big Ten/BIG EAST challenge for the first time. I believe these are two evenly matched conferences in college baseball and it is exciting to have the opportunity to play the reigning Big Ten champion.”
The Wildcats open BIG EAST Conference play at home with a three-game series against Cincinnati from March 26-28. The Bearcats will be making just their second visit to the Villanova Ballpark at Plymouth and the first since 2006, when Villanova won two of three games. The other league opponents on the home schedule for the Wildcats are Pittsburgh (April 16-18), Georgetown (April 30-May 2) and Notre Dame (May 14-16). The series against the Fighting Irish will take place during the team’s annual Alumni Weekend.
On the road in BIG EAST play, Villanova will take on Louisville (April 1-3), Connecticut (April 9-11), USF (April 23-25), Rutgers (May 7-9) and West Virginia (May 20-22). The Wildcats end the regular season with the three-game set against the Mountaineers, which will be the first trip to West Virginia for Villanova since 2006. That series will also mark the first time since 2004 that the Wildcats end the regular season on the road.