BSB | Regional Teams, Power Opponents Mark 2018 Schedule
The Saint Mary's baseball team's 2018 schedule includes 11 games versus 2017 Regional Teams
2018 Schedule | 2017-18 Fall Roster
MORAGA, Calif. -- Nearly a dozen games against 2017 NCAA Regional teams and seven games against Pac-12 Conference members highlight a competitive 2018 Saint Mary's baseball schedule, announced Friday by head coach Eric Valenzuela.
Saint Mary's (37-20, 18-9 West Coast Conference in 2017) will take on four different teams from four different conferences that played in the 2017 NCAA Tournament - BYU, Long Beach State, Sacramento State and Xavier. Two of those teams - Xavier and Sacramento State - will come to Louis Guisto Field. Saint Mary's will also play seven games on the road at Pac-12 opponents, traveling to Tempe, Ariz., to face historic power Arizona State and going to Pullman, Wash., to take on Washington State.
"We're extremely excited about our 2018 schedule," said Valenzuela. "We have definitely challenged ourselves by going on the road for 31 games against legitimate competition. Our program is ready to compete every weekend against the best teams in the country and we hope to make a huge statement this season."
The 2018 season kicks off on Feb. 16 with a three-game series at Big West Conference champion Long Beach State. The series is the start of a season-opening seven-game road trip for the Gaels through Southern California and Arizona. SMC will also go to 2015 NCAA Regional participant CSU Bakersfield and Arizona State for three games on the trip.
The 49ers, or "Dirtbags" as the baseball program is better known as, won 42 games in 2017 en route to hosting a regional and Super Regional before falling to conference rival Cal State Fullerton for a spot in the College World Series. The Sun Devils missed the regionals last season, just the second time in the last 18 years they haven't qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
The home schedule begins on March 2 with a three-game series versus 2017 Big East Tournament champion Xavier. The Musketeers reached the Louisville Regional final, losing to the host Cardinals by one run. Saint Mary's will also host defending Western Athletic Conference Tournament champion Sacramento State on March 20.
Last season, the Gaels played 28 of their 55 regular season games at home - just over half. In 2018, the Gaels will play a majority of their games on the road with 31 of 56 contests away from Moraga. Road victories can provide a boost to a team's RPI at the end of the season come tournament selection time. SMC has carried a .500-or-better road record in each of the past two seasons.
The Gaels' road schedule in WCC play won't be any easier, with trips to defending conference champion Loyola Marymount (May 18-20) and perennial power San Diego (April 13-15) on the docket. Saint Mary's also hosts co-WCC champions BYU (May 3-5) and regular WCC challenger Pepperdine (May 11-13).
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