Michigan State baseball releases 2019 schedule

Michigan State baseball released its 2019 schedule on Thursday afternoon. The 56-game schedule features high-profile opponents, many against teams returning from an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018. The season opener will be in New Orleans, against New Orleans, on Friday, Feb.15, kicking off a three-game set.

After opening the season against New Orleans, the Spartans will remain on the road for the next month. Coastal Carolina hosts MSU after their season-opening series, among other teams, during Brittain Resorts Baseball at the Beach in Conway, South Carolina. In addition to Coastal, they’ll play NC State and Kent State. All three teams qualified for the 2018 NCAA tournament; Coastal’s bid came via the Sun Belt conference championship; Kent State appeared by winning the Mid-American Conference.

MSU then travels to Arizona where they’ll play Arizona State in Tempe and Arizona in Tucson. After the four-day trip in the desert, they’ll return to South Carolina where they’ll play in the First Pitch Invitational at Flour Field in Greenville. The Spartans will play single games against Western Carolina, Furman, Ohio State (non-conference) and Appalachian State. To conclude the week-long slate in Greenville, they’ll face Connecticut in a four-game set. UCONN fell in the Fullerton regional final in the NCAA Tournament against Washington last season.

The Green and White’s first contest in East Lansing will be a midweek game against Central Michigan on Mar. 20.

Conference opponents on the road: Nebraska, Michigan, Rutgers, Purdue and Iowa.

Conference opponents at home: Michigan, Indiana, Northwestern and Illinois.

Last year’s scheduled game at Comerica Park in Detroit against Eastern Michigan was suspended due to rain, but the tradition continues this upcoming season against Western Michigan. The Spartans and Broncos will play at Comerica on Apr. 2.

Indiana State, Central Michigan, Notre Dame, Oakland, Toledo and Valparaiso will be non-conference midweek opponents throughout the middle months of the season for MSU. An extra game against Michigan will be played in May but won’t count towards conference records.

“Our 2019 schedule is in line with how we’ve always scheduled since we’ve gotten to Michigan State,” head coach Jake Boss Jr. told MSU athletics. “The schedule gives us the opportunity to see different parts of the country, while still playing extremely challenging games that will test us as we get ready for a solid Big Ten slate.”

The Spartans finished 20-32 last season with a Big Ten Tournament appearance. They finished eighth in the Big Ten and played the two-game minimum in Omaha, Neb., losing to Minnesota and Indiana. In 2019, the Big Ten Tournament is May 22-26 at TD Ameritrade Park. National postseason play begins on May 31.