2003 Vanderbilt Baseball Schedule Highlighted By 18 Opponents With Recent Trips to NCAA Tournament 10/29/02

Thirty-six games against 18 opponents with recent NCAA Tournament berths will highlight the 2003 Vanderbilt baseball schedule announced today by new Commodore coach Tim Corbin.

More than 65 percent of the Commodores’ 55-game schedule consists of opponents that reached either the 2001 or 2002 NCAA Tournament, including four games against 2002 College World Series participants Notre Dame and South Carolina. Six games are scheduled against 2001 CWS participants Georgia and Tennessee. In all, Vanderbilt plays 13 games against teams that finished 2002 ranked among the top 25 in the country.

“Without question this is a very challenging schedule,” Corbin said. “The SEC alone sent seven teams to a regional last year. The conference makes up more major leaguers than any other league in the nation. The bottom line is once you get through a season in the SEC you are game tested. Going off to play in a regional will not be overwhelming to any team in this league with what they have been through during the regular season.”

Vanderbilt’s season opener is Feb. 14 against Old Dominion at the three-day Citadel Tournament in Charleston, S.C. The Commodores also will face The Citadel and James Madison in the tournament.

The Commodores open their 29-game home schedule Feb. 18 against East Tennessee State, beginning a season-long nine-game homestand. The stretch concludes with the Music City Classic, Feb. 28-March 2. Rutgers, Kent State and Kansas will participate in the classic. Each of the three teams will play at Lipscomb or Belmont when not competing against the Commodores at Hawkins Field. Kent State has made appearances in each of the last two NCAA Tournaments while Rutgers had made the NCAA Tournament four of the past five seasons.

Vanderbilt travels to Jacksonville, Fla., during Spring Break for four games at Jacksonville University (March 4-8). Opponents include Jacksonville, Central Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame, which ended 2002 ranked No. 6.

Vanderbilt starts its Southeastern Conference schedule on the road at Mississippi State, March 14-16. Ole Miss comes to Hawkins Field the following weekend, March 21-23 for the Commodores’ conference home opener. Other SEC home series include dates with Ole Miss (March 21-23), Florida (April 4-6), LSU (April 18-20), Auburn (April 25-27) and Tennessee (May 16-18). LSU (No. 11) and Florida (No. 15) ended the year with national rankings.

The Commodores also face SEC road series at South Carolina (March 28-30), Arkansas (April 11-13), Georgia (May 2-4) and Kentucky (May 9-11). The Razorbacks finished the year No. 18 in the country after advancing to an NCAA super regional.

Besides the home opener against East Tennessee State and the Music City Classic, Vanderbilt also battles non-conference foes Cincinnati (Feb, 21-23), Belmont (Feb. 26), Lipscomb (March 11, 19), Austin Peay (March 25, April 22), Western Kentucky (April 1, May 6), Evansville (April 8) and Middle Tennessee (April 15, May 13).

The top eight conference teams (based on league win percentage) reach the SEC Tournament, May 21-25, in Birmingham, Ala.

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