TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The hunt for a second-straight College World Series appearance for the Arizona baseball team will begin Feb. 4, 2005 when the Wildcats face traditional rival New Mexico at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium in their season-opener.
The spring schedule, released today, features a tough non-conference slate including a trip to Fullerton, Calif., for a three-game series against the defending national champion CSF Titans and a home series against College World Series runner-up Texas, as well as the always challenging Pac-10 Conference season. In all, the Wildcats will play 25 of their 56 regular season games against schools that competed in the postseason last year.
After opening the season with three games against the Lobos, the first month of the schedule features a weekend series against Northern Colorado (Feb. 11-13), a trip to UT-Pan Am (Feb. 18-20) sandwiched around a pair of non-conference games against rival Arizona State (Feb. 15 and 23) in Tucson and a three-game home set vs. UC Riverside (Feb. 25-27).
The beginning of March finds a pair of schools that haven’t been to Tucson in quite some time paying a visit to the Old Pueblo. The Longhorns will repay Arizona’s 2003 trip to Austin with a three-game series at Kindall Field on March 4-6. Texas hasn’t played a game in Tucson since defeating the Wildcats twice in the 1962 District 6 playoffs.
The following weekend (March 11-13) the venerable Ron Polk and Mississippi State come to Tucson for the first time since 1981 for three games. Following the series against the Bulldogs, Arizona will host UNLV for a pair of midweek games (March 15-16) before heading off to Southern California for a three-game meeting with the defending national champions, Cal State Fullerton (March 18-20).
The end of the month marks the beginning of Pac-10 play as 2004 NCAA regional participant Washington comes to Tucson (March 24-26) for the conference opener.
Trips to Los Angeles to face UCLA (April 1-3) and Pullman, Wash., to take on Washington State (April 8-10) open the month of April, followed by a home series against Oregon State (April 15-17), a non-conference road trip to Sacramento State (April 22-24) and a Pac-10 match-up with USC in Tucson (April 29-May 1).
The final month of the regular season begins with the last non-conference series of the year against Utah Valley State (May 6-8), followed by UA’s longest road swing of the season. The seven-game set features a trip to Tempe for the three-game conference series against the Sun Devils (May 14-16), a one-game trip to New Mexico and weekend visit to Palo Alto, Calif., to face defending Pac-10 champs Stanford at Sunken Diamond (May 20-22).
A visit by Cal at the end of the month (May 27-29) will wrap up both the regular season and the Pac-10 schedule.
NCAA regional play will begin on June 2 at sites to be determined, followed by super regionals on June 9-12. The College World Series in Omaha, Neb., will run June 16-26.
The complete schedule is available by clicking here.
Notes: The Wildcats will open their three-week 2004 fall schedule this Friday, Oct. 1 ... Arizona will play a total of 15 intra squad games during the fall schedule ... All three weeks of the fall slate will be open to the public and the media.