Oct. 4, 2011
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - The Big East and Big Ten Conferences, in conjunction with the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, have released the schedule for the fourth annual Big Ten/Big East Baseball Challenge. The 2012 Challenge will feature 10 teams from the Big Ten and nine teams from the Big East playing 30 games over three days to open the college baseball season from Feb. 17-19.
Michigan State will participate in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge for the fourth consecutive year. MSU will open play Friday, Feb. 17 against St. John's at 4 p.m. at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla., spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Storm went 36-22 last season (18-8 Big East) and earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament; the program has earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament four out of the last five years.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, the Spartans will take on South Florida at 1 p.m. at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium in Clearwater, Fla. South Florida is coming off a 25-29 (13-14 Big East) campaign in 2011.
The Spartans finish the Challenge Sunday, Feb. 19 against Louisville at 10 a.m. at the Walter Fuller Baseball Complex in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Cardinals were 32-29 (14-13 Big East) last season.
Michigan State is 6-3 all-time in the Big East/Big Ten Challenge. The Spartans went a perfect 3-0 for the first time in 2011, defeating Notre Dame, Seton Hall and Cincinnati. MSU went 2-1 in 2010, topping Seton Hall and West Virginia, while falling to Louisville. In the inaugural Challenge in 2009, MSU beat Connecticut but fell to Seton Hall and Minnesota.
The 2012 Challenge will feature Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue from the Big Ten and Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John's, Seton Hall, South Florida and West Virginia from the Big East.
The Big Ten won the inaugural Challenge in 2009, 15-9, while the Big East was victorious in 2010, 17-13, and in 2011, 14-10.
Ticket information for the 2012 Challenge will be released at a later date.
For more information, visit www.bigtenbigeastbaseballchallenge.com.