MSU Baseball Announces 2018 Schedule
Spartans’ 2018 slate includes 12-game homestand as part of 26 total home games at Kobs Field at McLane Stadium
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State baseball announced its 2018 schedule Monday. Head coach Jake Boss Jr., and the Spartans will open the 2018 season on Friday, February 16 in the first of a 54-game regular-season ledger.
Of the 54 games, 12 of them are against teams that played in last season’s NCAA Tournament.
“We’re very excited for the 2018 season. I think our schedule is one that’s very challenging, and offers us a lot of very good RPI opportunities” Boss said.
The Spartans’ 2018 slate includes a 12-game homestand as part of 26 total home games at Kobs Field at McLane Stadium. The 12 home games in a row is the longest homestand since 2000 when Michigan State had 14-straight home contests, while the 26 total home game is the most since 2005 when MSU also had 26.
“The 12-game homestand is something that we haven’t had in a while and it just works out where we have back-to-back home series followed by our bye week,” Boss said. “Fortunately for us Valparaiso was willing to come up and play in East Lansing. It’s a good time of year to have a 12-game homestand, specifically because of the academic rigors that the guys are under. We’re approaching the end of the semester at that point and it’s a good opportunity for guys to get their academic stuff taken care of in preparation for final exams which are two weeks later. Everybody likes playing at home and we certainly have a beautiful facility and place that we are very proud of and we like to show it off.”
MSU will also host Niagara and Valparaiso in two non-conference series. The Spartans haven’t played Niagara since 1988 and will be playing Valparaiso for the first time since 1994.
Michigan State will also play seven road games in California in non-conference action, playing a four-game series at Fresno State and a three-game series at Pepperdine in consecutive weekends.
“Going on the road at Fresno State and at Pepperdine to start the year to face two programs that have very storied traditions will be big for us. Both have won national championships, both are outstanding west coast opponents,” Boss said.
MSU’s schedule also features eight neutral site games, including the DQ Baseball Classic Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
“The Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge is one that’s certainly going to be just that: it will be a great challenging weekend for us. We’re excited to play in the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, it should be a lot of fun up there,” Boss said.
The Spartans’ neutral site slate also includes four games at historic Fluor Field in Greenville, South Carolina, facing Clemson mid-week before the First Pitch Invitational.
“Playing Clemson is something that we have routinely done here and it’s always a great atmosphere at Flour Field in Greenville, South Carolina,” Boss said. “Michigan State alumnus Craig Brown has hosted us there every since I’ve been here at Michigan State and we’ll continue to make the trip to Greenville every year, it’s a highlight of our season, highlight of our road trips. The people in Greenville, South Carolina just treat us tremendously well and we’re excited to head back there this year again for the First Pitch Invitational.”
Michigan State will host Big Ten Conference opponents Rutgers, Nebraska, Maryland and Ohio State, while playing league road contests at Michigan, Northwestern, Penn State and Minnesota. The Spartans will also play one game at Comerica Park in Detroit, facing Eastern Michigan at the home of the Detroit Tigers.
“Our Big Ten slate again is going to be very difficult as it always is,” Boss said. “Getting the likes of Rutgers, Nebraska, Maryland and Ohio State at home. It will be good to play those guys at our place and then combined with the annual mid-week games with schools from Mid-American Conference rounds out the schedule. We’re anxious and eager for the upcoming season. It should be an exciting season of Spartan baseball.”
The Spartans will play their first 14 games away from home, before opening action at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field on March 15 against Niagara. MSU opens Big Ten Conference play with a home-and-home-and-home with Michigan on March 23.
“We are opening our home schedule probably earlier than maybe we ever have, but with the technology that we have with our surface and our in-field heating system, we have no doubts that the field will be ready for us to play on March 15,” Boss said.
Michigan State opens the 2018 season in Fresno, California from Feb. 16-18 with a four-game series at Fresno State. The following weekend, the Spartans return to the Golden State for a three-game series at Pepperdine, Feb. 23-25.
MSU will make the first of two trips to Minneapolis this season from March 2-4 for the DQ Baseball Classic Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, played at US Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings. The Spartans will face Washington, UCLA and Arizona.
Michigan State then heads to Greenville, South Carolina for four games at historic Fluor Field, opening against Clemson on March 7, before playing in the First Pitch Invitational, facing Furman, Presbyterian and Big Ten foe Illinois on March 9-11, respectively.
After opening the home ledger with a four-game series against Niagara (March 15-18) at McLane Stadium at Kobs Field, MSU then takes on Central Michigan on March 21 in the first of five games against in-state foes. Michigan State opens Big Ten Conference action with a three-game series against Michigan, as the Spartans play at Ann Arbor on March 23 and 25, sandwiched around the home game in East Lansing on March 24.
MSU opens a 12-game homestand with a mid-week home game against Western Michigan on March 28 to complete the stretch of five-straight in-state games. The Spartans then host Rutgers (March 30-April 1), Eastern Michigan (April 4), Nebraska (April 6-8), Notre Dame (April 10) and Valparaiso (April 13-15).
The Spartans then play at Western Michigan (April 18), before a three-game B1G series at Northwestern (April 20-22).
Michigan State then plays Eastern Michigan at Comerica Park on April 24, before returning home to host Toledo the next day. MSU then concludes the April portion of its schedule with a three-game conference series with Maryland (April 27-29).
The Spartans open May action at Penn State (April 4-6), before a non-conference home match-up with Michigan on May 8. MSU then makes its second trip of the season to Minneapolis for a three-game series at Minnesota (May 11-13), before its final regular-season road game May 15 at Central Michigan. Michigan State then wraps up conference and regular-season play with three games against Ohio State (May 17-19).
The 2018 B1G Tournament is May 23-27, returning to TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, which will serve as the host venue for the conference tournament from 2018 through 2022.
The NCAA Regional dates are June 1-4, while the NCAA Super Regionals are June 8-10, with the College World Series slated for June 16-27 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska.
Michigan State returns six starters back from the 2017 team that logged a 29-23 overall ledger and was 10-14 in Big Ten play.