PITTSBURGH - The University of Pittsburgh baseball team has released its 2013 schedule, head coach Joe Jordano announced Tuesday. Highlighting the Pitt slate during its final season in the Big East Conference are 10 contests against teams who reached the 2012 postseason and 30 home games played at the Petersen Sports Complex.
"It's a very competitive schedule and we're excited about it," said head coach Joe Jordano. "It's also going to be a challenging schedule and we're certainly looking forward to it."
The Panthers open their season with a trip to Wichita, Kan. for a three game set against Missouri Valley Conference power and perennial College World Series contender Wichita State, Feb. 15-17 at Eck Stadium.
The following two weekends, Pitt will travel to South Carolina for a series against Wofford (Feb. 22-24) and then a tournament hosted by The Citadel (March 1-3). In The Citadel Tournament, the Panthers will face VCU and UNC-Ashville in addition to the host Bulldogs.
The home opener is against Youngstown State on Friday, March 8, at 3 p.m. in the second game of the first of two Panther Classics. During the Classic, Pitt will welcome the Penguins and 2012 NCAA Tournament participant Manhattan to Charles L. Cost Field for the six game event (March 8-10).
After hosting long-time rival West Virginia for a midweek tilt on March 12, Pitt will host Toledo and Niagara in the second Panther Classic, March 15-17.
A trip to Kent, Ohio for a midweek clash with 2012 College World Series participant Kent State on March 20 serves as the Panthers' final tune up before the start of Big East play. NCAA Super Regional participant St. John's is first on the Big East docket for Pitt as it makes the trip to Queens, N.Y. for a three game set March 22-24.
Following the contests with the Red Storm, the Panthers step out of conference for five games, hosting Penn State (March 27) and Towson State (March 29-30) and then traveling to Akron (April 2).
Big East play resumes when Pitt heads to Tampa to take on USF during the first weekend of April (5-7).
After a short road trip to Youngstown for another matchup against the Penguins on April 9, Pitt will welcome Notre Dame to Cost Field for its Big East home opening series (April 12-14).
The Panthers will have their second game against rival WVU on April 16 in Morgantown and will then return home for a nine game homestand featuring contests with Coppin State (April 17), Rutgers (April 19-21), Cincinnati (April 27-28) and YSU (April 30).
May begins with a trip to Bethesda, Md. for a series with Georgetown (May 3-5) and is followed by the final five home games of the season against Ohio (May 8), Villanova (May 11-12) and concluding on May 14 with a visit from 2012 Eugene Super Regional Champion Kent State for senior day.
The regular season will conclude with a trip to Louisville for a three game set with the Cardinals, a 2012 NCAA qualifier and 2012 Big East Regular Season co-champions.
The 2013 Big East Tournament returns to Bright House Field in Clearwater, Fla. Pitt is one of only three schools to have advanced to each of the past four Big East Tournaments.
The Panthers bring back a solid squad in 2013 which features six returning position starters and two pitchers who were part of the weekend rotation. Returnees in 2013 accounted for 74 percent of the team's RBI and 72 percent of the team's runs scored in 2012. Additionally, returning pitchers accounted for 79 percent of innings pitched and 80 percent of total strikeouts.
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