Arizona baseball schedule announced

Arizona baseball schedule announced

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Arizona Wildcats baseball program released its 2018 schedule Tuesday afternoon, and it features games against eight NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, six conference champions and 29 games at Hi Corbett Field. Additionally, at least 20 games will be televised.

"We are excited about the challenge our 2018 schedule presents for our players and our team," coach Jay Johnson said. "Our schedule is filled with great teams and programs that have success on an annual basis. We are playing a number of NCAA Tournament teams and Conference Champions from a year ago. Playing at Arizona presents great opportunities for our players and this year is no different. We are looking forward to turn the calendar to 2018 and get to competing."

The Wildcats will open their season Feb. 16-18 at home versus Northeast Conference champion, Bryant in a three-game series. Bryant went 20-6 in conference play last year, one year after winning 47 games and making the NCAA Tournament as an at-large team.

Arizona will then head to San Diego for four games. The Wildcats will face Arkansas for the second straight year in a neutral site game at San Diego State. The Wildcats and Razorbacks faced off last year in Frisco, Texas with the Wildcats winning 3-0. Arkansas went on to win 45 games and earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The Wildcats stay in San Diego after the matchup with the Razorbacks for the Tony Gwynn Classic and face San Diego State, Michigan and San Diego. San Diego State won the Mountain West last year and qualified for the NCAA Tournament and Michigan was also an NCAA Tournament team.

Following their trip to San Diego, Arizona plays a single home game against New Mexico State before heading to Minneapolis for the Pac-12/Big 10 Challenge. The tournament will take place at U.S. Bank Stadium, home to the Minnesota Vikings, and Arizona will play Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan State.

Arizona then returns home for a four-game homestand, kicking off with a single game against San Diego State and a three-game series with North Dakota State, who is coached by former Arizona Wildcat, Tod Brown.

Johnson and the Wildcats then head to Phoenix for their first televised game of the season against Arizona State on Pac-12 Network in a nonconference game.

The Cats follow that by opening Pac-12 play at Washington, before returning home for a seven-game homestand, which is the longest of the season. Arizona will host New Mexico State for one game, Washington State for three and Nicholls State for three.

Following that, Arizona will travel to New Mexico to take on the Lobos for a single game. New Mexico was co-conference champions with San Diego State last year in the Mountain West. Arizona returns home after that game to host Oregon State, the defending Pac-12 Champions and a College World Series team from a year ago. The series will be televised by Pac-12 Network.

Arizona heads to Phoenix for a single game at Grand Canyon before a three-game televised series at USC. Arizona will then host BYU, the West Coast Conference champion from a year ago, and Stanford, an NCAA Tournament host in 2017. The Stanford-Arizona series will be on Pac-12 Network.

The Cats will play four games in Utah, three at Utah, and one at Utah Valley. The Cats return home to host UCLA for three games. The series is set for a Thursday-Friday-Saturday tilt and will be televised by Pac-12 Network. Following that, Arizona hosts Grand Canyon for one and travels to California and Sacramento State for a four-game road trip. Sacramento State won the WAC Tournament Championship last year and qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

Arizona will close out its home schedule with a three-game series versus Arizona State, set for Thursday May 17 through Saturday, May 19, and close out regular season at Oregon in another Thursday-Saturday series. The final six games will all be televised.

The schedule is still subject to change, as ESPN has yet to make television selections for the 2018 season.