WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Two dozen home games and another long stretch of home dates late in the season highlights Purdue baseball's 2018 schedule, unveiled by head coach Mark Wasikowski.
The Boilermakers have five home weekends on the slate this spring, including a non-conference series vs. Lipscomb (March 23-25) that will feature the home opener. Minnesota (April 13-15), Rutgers (April 27-29), Northwestern (May 4-6) and Michigan (May 17-19) also visit Alexander Field for Big Ten weekends.
Purdue's season-long nine-game homestand begins April 24 and will feature a non-conference midweek date with rival Indiana (April 25). From April 24 through the May 19 regular-season finale, the Boilermakers are scheduled to play 13 of their 16 games at home.
Weekend series at Baylor (Feb. 16-18), Tulane (March 9-11) and Saint Louis (March 16-18) headline the non-conference schedule. Wasikowski and Baylor head coach Steve Rodriguez were both starting infielders on Pepperdine's 1992 NCAA championship team.
Purdue will play its first two weekends in the state of Texas, participating in Notre Dame's Alamo Irish Classic (Feb. 23-25) in San Antonio after visiting Baylor for the season-opening weekend. UND's neutral-site tournament will be held at Nelson Wolff Memorial Stadium, home of the San Diego Padres Double-A affiliate (the San Antonio Missions) in the Texas League. Saint Louis and Incarnate Word round out the four-team field at the eight-game tournament. Sunday's rematches in the championship and consolation games will be determined by the first two day's results.
The Boilermakers will play five games in Louisiana on the front half of their spring break trip. Along with the weekend series at Tulane, Purdue will play midweek games at first-time opponents Southeastern Louisiana (March 13) and Nicholls State (March 14).
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The month of March begins with a trip to Florida for Stetson's four-team West Lake Mary Invitational (March 2-4). Virginia Tech and Central Michigan round out the field. It's been at least 20 years since the Boilermakers last played CMU, Stetson or Va Tech.
Along with the rare non-conference matchup with the Hoosiers, Purdue's 11-game midweek schedule also features home-and-home series with Ball State (March 20, April 10) and Indiana State (April 17-18). The Boilermakers are scheduled to play both Oakland (April 3-4) and Indiana State on consecutive days. The midweek finale is against pitching coach Steve Holm's alma mater, Oral Roberts (May 15). The Golden Eagles visit Alexander Field on their way to Fort Wayne for a Summit League series vs. the Mastodons. ORU has made 18 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1998.
The Boilermakers' four Big Ten road series are at Penn State (March 30-April 1), Indiana (April 6-8), Maryland (April 20-22) and Ohio State (May 11-13). Purdue travels to Columbus for the second year in a row after not playing at OSU's Bill Davis Stadium for four straight seasons from 2013 through 2016.
A full list of gameday promotions and special dates at Alexander Field will be released in February or early March. Feb. 16 is the national opening day of the 2018 college baseball season.
2018 SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN
Home Games: 24
Road Games: 26
Neutral-Site Games: 6
Big Ten Home: Minnesota, Rutgers, Northwestern, Michigan
Big Ten Road: Penn State, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio State
Big Ten Non-Play: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Nebraska
Big Ten Tournament: May 23 to 27 (TD Ameritrade Park -- Omaha, Nebraska)
Regular-Season Tournaments: Notre Dame's Alamo Irish Classic (Feb. 23-25 in San Antonio), Stetson's West Lake Mary Invitational (March 2-4 in DeLand, Florida)
Spring Break: 3-game series at Tulane and Saint Louis, midweek games at Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls State
More Non-Conference Weekend Series: at Baylor, vs. Lipscomb
Midweek: Ball State (2), Indiana State (2), Oakland (2), Indiana, Oral Roberts, Valparaiso, Fort Wayne, Chicago State
Long Homestand: Purdue plays 9 straight games at Alexander Field from April 24 through May 8, hosting Rutgers and Northwestern for Big Ten weekend series during that stretch. The April 25 midweek game vs. Indiana during the homestand is a non-conference game.
2017 NCAA Tournament Qualifiers: Baylor, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Oral Roberts, Southeastern Louisiana
First-Time Foes: Incarnate Word, Nicholls State, Oakland, Oral Roberts, Southeastern Louisiana
Been a While: There are four opponents on the schedule that Purdue has not played in at least 20 years -- Tulane (1950), Central Michigan (1996), Stetson (1997), Virginia Tech (1998)