Illinois Releases Promotional Schedule Released

Champaign, Ill. — The University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics announced a full slate of marketing promotions for Illinois baseball home games at Illinois Field in 2018.
The tenth-annual Bleacher Bum Barbecue, the premier promotion for Fighting Illini baseball, will be held Friday, May 4, when Illinois hosts Ohio State at 6 p.m. at Illinois Field. The event has been a staple on the Illini schedule, as the previous nine editions have drawn average crowds over 3,000 to Illinois Field, including an all-time high of 5,214 in 2009. This year’s event will feature free BBQ for the first 500 fans, (courtesy of Hickory River) and family friendly activities. More details will be released in the coming weeks.

A new promotion for this season is 9 Innings of Winning Night, which will take place on Friday, May 18, when Illinois hosts Nebraska at 6 p.m. One or more prizes will be raffled off each inning. Prizes include a portable speaker, tickets to the 2018 Illinois football home opener, and Illinois baseball memorabilia. A definite list of prizes will be released at the beginning of May.

For the seventh year in a row, the Fighting Illini will wear special commemorative jerseys as part of Honor and Serve Day at Illinois Field. The event, which is designed to honor University of Illinois student veterans and all of America’s military heroes along with serving the Champaign-Urbana community, will be held on Saturday, April 21, when Illinois hosts Grand Canyon at 3 p.m. Full details and this year’s commemorative jerseys will be unveiled at a later date.

The second annual Bark in the Park is a chance for fans to bring their dogs to the field for an afternoon of furry promotions. The event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 22, when the Illini host Grand Canyon at 11 a.m. More details and registration will become available soon.

Notable dates:
» Opening Day (March 13)
» Big Ten Opener (March 30)
» Bunny at the Ballpark (March 31, April 1)
» Super Hero Day (April 15)
» Alumnite (April 20)
» Honor and Serve (April 21)
» Bark in the Park (April 22)
» Bleacher Bum BBQ (May 4)
» Hail to the Orange Day (May 5)
» Little League Day (May 5)
» Spring Cleaning Night (May 17)
» 9 Innings of Winning (May 18)

The following concession deals also will be offered throughout the season:
» Thirsty Tuesday (half-priced drinks at every Tuesday game)
» Family Fridays (hot dog, chips and a drink for $6 at every Friday game)
» Nacho Deal ($2 nachos at every Sunday game)

Baseball cards will be given away at the four Big Ten series, and the players featured on each card set will sign autographs postgame on March 30, April 13, May 4, and May 18. Complete details on each event can be found on the Illinois Marketing and Promotions Schedule.

Kids are able to celebrate their birthday at any home game this season. The party deal includes:
» Personalized cupcakes
» Hot dogs
» Sodas
» Popcorn
» Illini prizes
» Birthday card signed by the team
» Birthday message announced at the game

Book your Illinois baseball party here!

All games will be held at Illinois Field. Game dates, times, and promotions are subject to change

Penn State, Lafayette to Meet In Home of IronPigs

University Park, Penn. —  The Lehigh Valley IronPigs of the Triple-A International League will host Penn State and Lafayette in the first-ever NCAA Division I baseball game in Coca-Cola Park, Wednesday, April 25 with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m.

“We’re excited to welcome Penn State, Lafayette and both teams’ fans and alumni to Coca-Cola Park,” said IronPigs President and General Manager Kurt Landes. “Regardless of where your allegiance falls, it’s a unique opportunity to watch major college baseball in Minor League Baseball’s most visited ballpark since 2008.”

This season is the third in a row that the teams have matched up. Penn State has won the first two games, taking a 20-12 slugfest at Lafayette in 2016 and a 9-2 victory for the Nittany Lions at home in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. For the 2018 return fixture, the Leopards will be the home team.

Penn State head coach Rob Cooper calls this game an “amazing opportunity,” not only for his players, but also for Lehigh Valley-area Penn State fans.

“The home of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs is one of the premier minor league facilities in the country,” Cooper said. “We are extremely grateful to Kurt Landes and the IronPigs staff for helping this game become a reality. What a great opportunity to play in front of our Lehigh Valley-based Penn State alumni!”

Field-level tickets for this contest are on sale now for $11 (click here to purchase). Fans can also purchase a special $20 package that includes a field-level ticket to both the Lafayette-Penn State game the IronPigs’ Friday, Aug. 24 game vs. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre that is sponsored by Penn State Lehigh Valley. Tickets can be ordered through the IronPigs ticket office online or by phone at 610-841-PIGS (7447), extension 1.
Gates will open one hour prior to the first pitch.

It will be the second of two neutral site games in professional parks in April for Penn State. On April 10, Penn State will meet West Virginia at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, for a second consecutive year.

Huskers Announce 2018 Schedule

Lincoln, Neb. — Head Coach Darin Erstad and the reigning Big Ten regular-season champion Nebraska baseball team announced its 2018 schedule on Friday, which includes 27 home games at Hawks Field.

Nebraska opens its season with eight neutral-site games during two trips to Arizona. NU’s season opener is set for Feb. 16 at the Husker Classic in Tempe, Ariz. The teams competing at the Husker Classic are UC Riverside and Washington State. NU will play four games from Feb. 16-18, including a doubleheader on Feb. 17.

The Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge is set for Feb. 22-25 at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. Nebraska faces 2017 College World Series participant Oregon State on Feb. 22 and 24, and battles Utah on Feb. 23 and 25.

The Huskers visit Wichita State, March 2-4, for the first three of 21 true road games during the season. The two teams last met in 2016 at Hawks Field, with NU taking two of three from the Shockers.

March 8 marks the first home game for the Huskers in 2018, and the beginning of a nine-game home stand for the Big Red at Hawks Field. A four-game set against Cal Poly begins on March 8 and ends with a doubleheader on March 10. Nebraska then hosts Northern Colorado for the 15th consecutive season when the Huskers and Bears square off on March 13 and 14 at Hawks Field. The first home stand finishes with a three-game series against Northwestern State from March 16-18 at Hawks Field. NU has faced the Demons on three occasions, with the previous meetings taking place in 2000, 2001 and 2004.

Nebraska visits Oral Roberts for a two-game set, March 20-21, before returning home to begin Big Ten play against Minnesota at Hawks Field, March 23-25. The Golden Gophers, who finished third in the conference last season, took home the regular-season title in 2016. The Huskers won two of three over Minnesota on the road last year. In 2018, Nebraska has 24 conference games and 32 non-conference games scheduled.

The Huskers will face intrastate rival Creighton three times during the 2018 campaign, with the first meeting set for March 27 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. The Huskers host the Bluejays on April 24 at Hawks Field before wrapping up the season series on May 8 in Omaha. NU also has a season series with the Omaha Mavericks. The first matchup is scheduled for April 3 at Werner Park in Omaha, Neb., before NU hosts the Mavericks on April 18 at Hawks Field.

Nebraska’s road conference slate commences March 30-April 1 at Ohio State. After playing 18 games in March, the Huskers have 20 games in April. Nebraska also visits Michigan State (April 6-8), Rutgers (April 20-22) and Illinois (May 17-19) during conference play.

The Huskers have two midweek games scheduled against former conference foe Kansas State in April. NU travels to Manhattan, Kan., on April 10, before hosting the Wildcats on April 17. Nebraska ends the month of April with a three-game series against Nevada, set for April 26-28. The Huskers and Wolfpack previously met in 1986, 1987, 1992 and 1994.

In addition to the Minnesota series at home, NU will host three additional Big Ten series at Hawks Field. 2017 NCAA Tournament qualifiers Iowa (April 13-15), Maryland (May 4-6) and Indiana (May 11-13) come to Hawks Field during the 2018 season. The Hawkeyes, who also visited Lincoln last season, captured the 2017 Big Ten Tournament crown.

The Big Ten Tournament is scheduled for May 23-27 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. The Huskers have qualified for the Big Ten Tournament during each of the last six seasons since NU joined the conference before the 2012 campaign. Nebraska took runner-up honors at the Big Ten Tournament in 2013 and 2014.

In addition to capturing the Big Ten regular-season crown in 2017, the Huskers qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years. Erstad, who was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, led NU to a 35-22-1 record overall, which included a 16-7-1 mark in conference play.

New season tickets for the 2018 season can be purchased starting on Saturday, Oct. 7 by visiting Current season ticket holders will receive renewal information in the near future. Improvements and additional purchases will be available in January during the Seat Yourself process, which allows fans to choose their own seats at Hawks Field.

The Huskers close fall practice with the Red-White Series at Hawks Field. Game 1, consisting of six innings, is set for Friday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. (CT). Games 2 and 3 (five innings each) are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 16, starting at 6 p.m.


Buckeyes Announce 2018 Schedule

Columbus, Ohio —  The Ohio State baseball team released its 2018 schedule Tuesday. The Buckeyes will play 26 home games at Nick Swisher Field at Bill Davis Stadium, while 13 contests are against 2017 NCAA Tournament teams.

“Once again we have put together a demanding schedule to accomplish two main objectives: prepare us to play for a Big Ten championship and drive our RPI into a position to qualify for the NCAA tournament,” head coach Greg Beals said. “I believe this schedule and this team has the ability to earn an at-large bid. We are excited to continue our development throughout the fall and winter. We will be ready to compete and make a championship run in 2018.”

Ohio State opens the 2018 season Feb. 16-18 at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., with contests against UW-Milwaukee and Canisius. The Buckeyes will then travel west for the second year in a row to Surprise, Ariz., for the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge to face Utah and Oregon State. Last season, the Buckeyes posted a 6-1 upset over the Beavers, who finished the year with a 56-6 overall record. The Buckeyes start the month of March at the Cox Diamond Invitational in Pensacola, Fla., with games against Nicholls, Southern Miss and Virginia Tech March 2-4. The squad will then spend spring break on the coast of the Carolinas for six non-conference games. Ohio State will play four games March 9-11 at the Coastal Carolina Tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., with two games against High Point and two contests against the Chanticleers, the 2016 national champions. The team will then travel up the coast for a two-game road series at UNC-Wilmington March 13-14.

The Buckeyes open the 22nd season at Bill Davis Stadium with a 12-game homestand. The 2018 home opener is set for March 16 as the Scarlet and Gray host a three-game, non-conference series against Cal-State Northridge in Columbus. After a midweek game vs. Eastern Michigan March 21, Ohio State welcomes Georgetown for a three-game set March 23-25. Toledo makes a trip to campus March 28 before the Buckeyes open up Big Ten play against Nebraska March 30-April 1. The team wraps up the homestand with an in-state battle vs. Kent State April 4. Ohio State hits the road to Iowa City, Iowa, April 6-8. After a home game vs. Ohio April 10, the team continues its road conference slate at Penn State April 13-15.

Ohio State will then begin an eight-game home swing, opening with Miami (Ohio) April 17 and Youngstown State April 18. The team will host back-to-back Big Ten series against Indiana April 20-22 and Minnesota April 27-29. The Buckeyes begin the month of May on the road with a matchup at Ball State May 2 and three-game series at Illinois May 4-6. Ohio State welcomes Campbell for the first time to Columbus May 8-9 before wrapping up the home schedule May 11-13 against Purdue. The Buckeyes will travel south for a final midweek game at Cincinnati May 15 and will conclude the regular season with a three-game series at Michigan State May 17-19.

The 2018 Big Ten Tournament is back at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., May 23-27. The Buckeyes claimed their ninth Big Ten tournament championship last time out in Omaha during the 2016 campaign. The Scarlet and Gray return 23 letterwinners, including 11 position players and 11 pitchers that saw significant playing time in 2017. Beals and his staff welcomed 10 newcomers, including two junior college transfers and seven true freshmen this fall.

• The Buckeyes shortest trip of the early non-conference schedule is to Coastal Carolina (580 miles), while the longest trip is to Surprise, Ariz. (1,927 miles).
• The Scarlet and Gray are 113-68 (.624) at home under eight-year head coach Greg Beals.
• The Buckeyes return 12 players, including five key pitchers, which were a part of the 2016 Big Ten tournament title and NCAA Tournament team.
• CANISIUS – Finished 35-22 overall and 16-9 in MAAC play a year ago.
• OREGON STATE – Tallied a 56-6 overall record, the best mark in program history. A College World Series participant, Oregon State’s season-ending winning percentage of .903 was the NCAA’s best since Texas posted a .908 winning percentage in 1982.
• SOUTHERN MISS – Advanced to Hattiesburg Regional and finished with a 50-16 overall record.
• VIRGINIA TECH – Led by first-year head coach John Szefc, who led Maryland to three NCAA appearances and a 180-122 (.596) overall record.
• COASTAL CAROLINA – Won the 2016 NCAA College World Series. The Buckeyes went 1-1 against the Chanticleers during the 2016 campaign in Conway, S.C. Coastal has played in eight NCAA Regionals and three NCAA Super Regionals over the past 10 years.
• CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE – Will be making its first trip to Columbus in program history.
• NEBRASKA – Posted 35 wins and made its third NCAA Regional in the last four seasons.
• IOWA – Won the Big Ten Tournament title for the first time in its history and advanced to its second NCAA Regional appearance in three seasons with a 39-22 overall record.
• OHIO – Fell to Indiana in the Lexington Regional after claiming its third MAC tournament title in school history.
• INDIANA – Advanced to the Lexington Regional with a 34-24-2 overall record.


Northwestern Baseball Release 2018 Schedule

Evanston, Ill. — After tallying the most wins in program history since 2000 and embarking on a memorable run to the 2017 Big Ten Tournament title game, Northwestern baseball third-year head coach Spencer Allen has released the Wildcats’ 2018 schedule.

The 2018 season brings 20 home games to the beautiful Rocky and Berenice Miller Park, as well as trips to Arizona, Kansas, and Texas, and a competitive Big Ten slate.

The Wildcats begin their season with four games against Nebraska-Omaha [Feb. 16-18] in Glendale, Arizona. Following their trip out west, the ‘Cats travel to Lawrence, Kansas for a three-game series against the Jayhawks [Feb. 23-25]. Chicago’s Big Ten team then continues its competition against the Big 12 with a visit to Austin [March 2-4] to take on the Texas, who is coming off a 39-win season and an NCAA regionals appearance.

The #B1GCats return to Chicago on March 6th for a road matchup with crosstown-foe UIC, followed by the home opener on Saturday, March 10 against Mac Murray College.

Northwestern will welcome five more non-conference opponents to Miller Park throughout 2018, including Judson University [March 11], UIC [April 3], and Chicago State [May 1]. The ’Cats will conclude the 2018 season with non-conference matchups against Notre Dame [May 15] and Belmont [May 17-19].

The Wildcats kick off Big Ten play with a home series against Michigan [April 6-8]. Other home conference matchups include series against Michigan State [April 20-22], and Iowa [May 11-13]. Northwestern will travel to Maryland [March 30 – April 1], Indiana [April 13-15], Penn State [April 27-29], and Purdue [May 4-6] for its league road matchups.

The Big Ten Tournament begins May 23 in Omaha.

2018 Illini Baseball Schedule Announced

Champaign, Ill. — 2018 Illinois Baseball Schedule

» 51 games (plus two fall games)
» Feb. 16 season opener at Lamar
» March 14 home opener vs. Milwaukee
» March 23 Big Ten opener at Northwestern
» March 30 Big Ten home opener vs. Iowa
» Four Big Ten home series: Iowa, Rutgers, Ohio State, Nebraska
» Four Big Ten road series: Northwestern, Maryland, Indiana, Michigan
» Six first-time opponents: Texas Southern, VCU, Arizona, Presbyterian, Cal State Northridge, Grand Canyon


Day Date Opponent Location (Stadium) Notes
Fri. Feb. 16 at Lamar Beaumont, Texas Second trip to Lamar in two years
Sat. Feb. 17 vs. Texas Southern Beaumont, Texas First ever matchup vs. Texas Southern
Sun. Feb. 18 vs. Missouri State Beaumont, Texas 2017 Super Regional team
Fri. Feb. 23 at Coastal Carolina Conway, S.C. 2016 College World Series champion
Sat. Feb. 24 vs. West Virginia Conway, S.C. Illinois is 8-2 all-time vs. WVU
Sat. Feb. 24 at Coastal Carolina Conway, S.C. Illini took one of three at CCU in 2017
Sun. Feb. 25 vs. VCU Conway, S.C. First ever matchup vs. VCU
Fri. March 2 vs. UCLA Minneapolis, Minn. Played at the home of the Minnesota Vikings
Sat. March 3 vs. Arizona Minneapolis, Minn. First ever matchup vs. Arizona
Sun. March 4 vs. Washington Minneapolis, Minn. First meeting since 2001
Fri. March 9 vs. Presbyterian Greenville, S.C. First ever matchup vs. Presbyterian
Sat. March 10 at Furman Greenville, S.C. Played at the home of the Greenville Drive (Red Sox Class A)
Sun. March 11 vs. Michigan State Greenville, S.C. Nonconference game
Wed. March 14 Milwaukee Illinois Field 2018 home opener
Fri.-Sun. March 16-18 at Southern Illinois Carbondale, Ill. Illinois head coach Dan Hartleb‘s alma mater
Tue. March 20 at Illinois State Normal, Ill. Illinois has won five straight vs. Illinois State
Wed. March 21 Cal State Northridge Illinois Field First ever matchup vs. Cal State Northridge
Fri.-Sun. March 23-25 at Northwestern Evanston, Ill. Former Illini assistant Spencer Allen is NU head coach
Tue. March 27 at Bradley Peoria, Ill. Second trip to Dozer Park in two years
Fri.-Sun. March 30-April 1 Iowa Illinois Field 2018 Big Ten home opener
Fri.-Sun. April 6-8 at Maryland College Park, Md. Illinois won series vs. Maryland in 2016 and 2017
Tue. April 10 Illinois State Illinois Field Illinois has won six straight vs. Illinois State in Champaign
Fri.-Sun. April 13-15 Rutgers Illinois Field Illinois won last meeting at Illinois Field, 28-13, May 10, 2015
Tue. April 17 Valparaiso Illinois Field Illinois is 16-3 all-time vs. Valpo
Fri.-Sun. April 20-22 Grand Canyon Illinois Field GCU moved to Division I in 2014
Tue. April 24 Bradley Illinois Field Bradley’s return trip in the home-and-home
Fri.-Sun. April 27-29 at Indiana Bloomington, Ind. Illinois is 49-45-1 all-time at Indiana
Tue. May 1 Southern Illinois  Illinois Field Last of four meetings vs. SIU in 2018
Fri.-Sun. May 4-6 Ohio State Illinois Field First meeting since Illinois won two of three in 2016
Fri.-Sun. May 11-13 at Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich. Illinois won two of three at Michigan in 2017
Thur.-Sat. May 17-19 Nebraska Illinois Field Illinois clinched 2015 Big Ten title vs. Nebraska at Illinois Field

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