Lincoln - The Nebraska baseball team unveiled its 2013 schedule on Thursday morning, as the Huskers will play 18 games against 2012 NCAA Tournament teams, including two games against 2012 College World Series qualifier Arkansas at Hawks Field. The series with the Razorbacks marks the third straight year that the Huskers have hosted a CWS team from the previous season, as UCLA visited Lincoln in 2011 and California split a four-game series at Hawks Field last season.
After playing 31 homes games in 2012, the Huskers are set to host 21 games at Hawks Field in 2013, while playing 31 true roads games and two neutral site games at the TD Ameritrade Classic in late April. Head Coach Darin Erstad and his staff worked hard on setting up challenging schedule that gets the team ready for not only the Big Ten schedule, but to also make a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008.
Nebraska is scheduled to play 19 of its first 24 games on the road, including four games in the Southern California area to open the season.
NU opens play on Friday, Feb. 15, with one game at CSU Bakersfield, before playing a double-header at Cal State Fullerton on Saturday, Feb. 16. The Titans won their 26th Big West Conference title last season and made their 21st consecutive appearance in an NCAA Regional. The Huskers wrap up the weekend with one game at USC on Sunday, Feb. 17, at Dedeaux Field. It will be NU's first game against the Trojans since 2005 and the first time the two teams have met in Los Angeles since 1984.
After playing four games in three days to open the season, the Huskers will face a stiff challenge the following week with a three-game series against the Texas Longhorns at Disch-Falk Field in Austin. The two former Big 12 counterparts open the series on Friday, Feb. 22.
The Huskers play their first home game of the 2013 season on Friday, March 1, when they open a three-game series against New Mexico at Hawks Field. The Lobos won their second straight Mountain West Tournament title in 2012 and made their third straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, where they were eliminated by CWS qualifier UCLA. Following the New Mexico series, the Huskers host Northern Colorado on Tuesday, March 5, and Wednesday, March 6, before playing their next 12 games on the road.
With its first five home games in the books, Nebraska heads back on the road for three games at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, La., starting on Friday, March 8. It will mark the Huskers' first visit to J.C. Love Field since 2003 when NU took 2-of-3 from the Bulldogs.
Nebraska then makes its Spring Break trip, where it will return to California for three games at UC Irvine and two more games against Cal State Fullerton.
The Huskers and Anteaters open a three-game set at Cicerone Field starting on Friday, March 15, before NU heads back to Fullerton, Calif., for a pair of night games with the Titans at Goodwin Field on Tuesday, March 19 and Wednesday, March 20.
After playing five games in six days, the Huskers head from California to Illinois where they open Big Ten play on Friday, March 22, at Illinois Field. It will be the first game between the two teams in Illinois in over 115 years, as the Fighting Illini won their only other home game in the series, 14-9, in 1897.
NU wraps up its 12-game road trip with a visit to Manhattan, Kan., on Tuesday, March 26, with one game with the Kansas State Wildcats.
The Huskers host their first Big Ten series of the season when Northwestern visits Hawks Field for a three-game series, starting on Friday, March 29. Nebraska will be looking for revenge against the Wildcats after dropping 2-of-3 last season in Evanston, Ill.
Nebraska then heads back on the road for another road game at Kansas State on Tuesday, April 2, before visiting the Iowa Hawkeyes for a three-game series starting on Friday, April 5. NU holds a slim 6-5 advantage over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City.
The Huskers host their longest home stand of the season, six games, starting on Tuesday, April 9, when they play the first of three games against the Creighton Bluejays. NU then welcomes the Ohio State Buckeyes for a three-game series starting on Friday, April 12, before Arkansas comes to Hawks Field for a two games on Tuesday, April 16, and Wednesday, April 17.
Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn, who coached at NU from 1998-2002, will return to Lincoln for the second time since leading the Huskers to their second straight College World Series appearance in 2002. The two teams split two games in Lincoln during the 2008 season and also split two in Fayetteville the following year.
Nebraska gets back to its Big Ten schedule the following weekend with a three-game series at Purdue starting on Friday, April 19. The Big Ten regular season and tournament champions a year ago, the Boilermakers were the only Big Ten team to take a series from the Huskers in Lincoln last season when they won 2-of-3.
The Huskers conclude their three-game season series with the Kansas State Wildcats at Hawks Field on Tuesday, April 23, and then head to Omaha for the TD Ameritrade Classic.
Nebraska will play three games against Creighton, Oklahoma State and Rutgers at TD Ameritrade Park, the host site of the College World Series. The tournament starts on Friday, April 26 with the Huskers and Bluejays, while the Huskers meet the Cowboys on Saturday and finish up the weekend with a game against the Scarlet Knights on Sunday.
The month of May opens with a three-game series against the Indiana Hoosiers at Hawks Field on Saturday, May 4, as the teams will play Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Nebraska then heads to Minnesota for its final Big Ten road series on Friday, May 10, before wrapping up its three-game season series with Creighton at TD Ameritrade Park on Tuesday, May 14.
The 2013 regular season wraps up with a three-game series against the Michigan Wolverines at Hawks Field, starting on Thursday, May 16. The season finale for both teams will mark the first ever games between the two teams in Lincoln.
The Big Ten Conference Tournament is scheduled to start on Wednesday, April 22, at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., while the NCAA Tournament starts on Friday, May 31.