Dec. 16, 1997

Notre Dame Baseball Announces 1998 Schedule

Notre Dame 1998 Baseball Schedule

The Notre Dame baseball team has announced its schedule for the 1998 season, highlighted by several noteworthy early-season non-conference games and a re-formatted BIG EAST Conference schedule.

The Irish will open their season two weeks early in order to participate in the Atlantic Coast Conference/Disney College Baseball Blast, to be held at the Disney World Sports Complex. Notre Dame will open against perennial national power Florida State on the night of Jan. 30 before taking on North Carolina State (Jan. 31) and Duke (Feb. 1).

Notre Dame's first 23 games will be away from home, including games at the University of New Orleans (Feb. 14-15), Loyola University, La. (Feb. 14) and perennial power Miami University (Feb. 20-22). The Irish then will return to the state of Indiana to participate in the eight-team Diamond Classic, facing host Evansville on Feb. 27 before playing to-be-determined games on Feb. 28 and March 1 (the field includes Ball State, Butler, Indiana, Indiana State, Purdue and Valparaiso).

The Irish again will spend Spring Break in San Antonio, Texas, with seven games scheduled at Wolff Stadium. Notre Dame will open play in San Antonio vs. Southwest Texas State (March 7-8) and Brigham Young (March 9) before playing host to the fourth annual Irish Baseball Classic, with games vs. Southern Illinois (March 11), BYU (March 12) and Incarnate Word (March 13) followed by the March 14th championship and consolation games.

The BIG EAST Conference will feature competition during the 1998 season as one 11-team conference, ending the previous two-division format. The specifics of the 26-game schedule will vary each season based on matchups and travel schedules. As a result of the change in format, Notre Dame is scheduled to play at three schools (Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Seton Hall) for the second straight season. The Irish also will play host to Georgetown and Villanova for the second straight year.

The Irish open BIG EAST play with doubleheaders at Providence (March 21) and UConn (March 22), with other BIG EAST road trips scheduled for Boston College (April 4-5), Pittsburgh (April 18-19) and Seton Hall (April 25-26).

Notre Dame is scheduled to play its home opener on March 24 vs. Cincinnati and will play host to Northeastern Illinois on March 26 before Georgetown is scheduled to visit Eck Stadium (March 28-29). Notre Dame also will play host to BIG EAST doubleheaders on April 9 vs. Rutgers and April 10 vs. Villanova, which posted two wins over the Irish in the '97 BIG EAST Tournament. The Irish close the regular season vs. two of the BIG EAST's top teams from the 1997 season: West Virginia (May 2-3) and St. John's (May 9-10).

Notre Dame's 23-game home schedule is rounded out by the following non-conference games: Illinois-Chicago (March 31), Bowling Green (April 2), Ball State (April 7), Chicago State (April 8), Manchester (April 14), Purdue (April 15), Valparaiso (April 22) and Michigan State (April 28).

The Irish again will face the University of Michigan at Old Kent Park (Comstock Park, Mich.), home of the minor-league West Michigan Whitecaps, on the night of Tuesday, April 21.

The BIG EAST Tournament is scheduled to return to Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Conn., on May 13-16.

NCAA Tournament regional play will be held May 21-24.

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