WKU Baseball announces 2021 schedule
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -After being off for a year, Western Kentucky Baseball head coach John Pawlowski and the Hilltoppers have announced their schedule for the 2021 season.
“We are excited to announce our 2021 schedule and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead,” said Pawlowski. “We have all been impacted in so many different ways over the last year, so the season being just two weeks away is a welcome sight for this team.”
The Tops went 10-6 in 2020, winning all four of their weekend series before COVID-19 brought to the season an early end. They’ll look to pick up where they left off going into the new season.
WKU will open the season against North Dakota State (Feb. 19-21) in a three-game series at Nick Denes Field. The Tops will follow up with a road test against Vanderbilt on Feb. 23. The Commodores are currently ranked third in the nation by multiple preseason polls.
WKU’s 2021 schedule features 11 games against teams currently ranked or receiving votes in national preseason polls and 13 matchups with squads that finished their 2020 season ranked inside the top-50 RPI.
After Vandy, the Hilltoppers will take on Cincinnati (Feb. 26-28) back on The Hill for a three-game series before hitting the road again for a three-game matchup at Tulane (March 5-7), who is receiving votes in several preseason polls.
WKU will then hit the road against Kentucky (March 9) before a seven-game homestand hosting Bowling Green (March 12-14), Bellarmine (March 16), and Valparaiso (March 19-21).
The Hilltoppers will then face Louisville (March 23), who is currently ranked fifth in D1Baseball’s preseason poll, before heading into conference play.
“This is one of the toughest non-conference schedules we’ve had in recent years,” said Pawlowski. “It will certainly help us prepare for our 32 Conference USA games this season.”
The newly implemented C-USA conference schedule structure will feature four games per weekend series. Teams will now play a doubleheader on Saturday, with those Saturday games set for seven innings apiece.
WKU opens conference play at home against Charlotte (March 26-28) before hitting the road to face FIU (April 1-3).
WKU will then host back-to-back home series against Marshall (April 9-11) and Middle Tennessee (April 16-18) before playing back-to-back road series at Southern Miss (April 23-25) and Marshall (April 30 – May 2). Southern Miss is currently receiving votes in multiple preseason polls while Middle Tennessee closed out last season ranked 48th in RPI.
The Hilltoppers’ last two conference series of the season will come at home against Florida Atlantic (May 7-9), who is receiving votes in the NCBWA preseason poll and ranked 30th in RPI last year, and on the road at Old Dominion (May 14-16).
WKU will then close out its regular-season slate with a matchup against Eastern Kentucky (May 18) at Nick Denes Field.
The C-USA Tournament is currently scheduled to begin on May 26 and will be hosted by Louisiana Tech.
“I’m really proud of this group for preparing and navigating through the COVID-19 world we currently live in,” said Pawlowski. “The returning seniors have been tremendous leaders who we will rely on to continue the quest for a C-USA Championship.”
Due to limited capacity based on our state COVID-19 guidelines, WKU Athletics will not be able to offer season tickets or walk-up sales at baseball games this season. Streaming will be available for most games and live stats will always be available at WKUSports.com. A streaming schedule for spring sports is expected to be released soon.
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