WKU baseball releases 2019 schedule

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For the 100th season of Western Kentucky, coach John Pawlowski and the Hilltoppers have announced the 2019 schedule.

The slate features WKU's annual game at Bowling Green Ballpark against Kentucky (April 23). The Hilltoppers also have road matchups against the Wildcats (March 13), Vanderbilt (April 2) and Louisville (April 30).

An early-year highlight is the Cox Diamond Invitational from March 1-3 in Pensacola, Fla., which will see WKU face North Florida and Louisiana Monroe to begin the weekend then Tennessee to conclude the round-robin event.

The Hilltoppers play six times against teams who qualified for NCAA Regionals last season, including a home contest vs. Tennessee Tech (March 26) and a three-game series against foe Florida Atlantic (April 19-21) at Nick Denes Field.

For the third straight year, WKU begins its league schedule with a home series when Alabama Birmingham (March 15-17) comes to Bowling Green. But for the first time since 2015, the Hilltoppers conclude the regular season at home, as Old Dominion (May 16-18) appears on the schedule once again – the Hilltoppers and Monarchs last faced off in 2016.

Western will host Charlotte (March 29-31) and Rice (May 3-5), while traveling to Florida International (March 22-24), Middle Tennessee (April 5-7), Marshall (April 12-14), Texas San Antonio (April 26-28) and Louisiana Tech (May 10-12).

The Hilltoppers play a series against every league team except for Southern Mississippi leading into the 2019 Conference USA championship May 22-26 in Biloxi, Miss.

Prior to the 10-weekend C-USA schedule, WKU has home series against Northern Kentucky (Feb. 15-17), Eastern Illinois (Feb. 22-24) and Memphis (March 8-10).

The 2019 WKU squad returns 15 letterwinners, including defending CUSA hitting champion, sophomore outfielder Luke Brown. Juniors Kevin Lambert and Ray Zuberer III are also back for the Hilltoppers, as well as senior pitchers Jacob Green, Troy Newell and Colby Taylor.