JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) — The Arkansas State Red Wolves' baseball team will host 31 games at Tomlinson Stadium/Kell Field and play 10 games against teams that reached last season's NCAA Championship as part of its 2014 schedule head coach Tommy Raffo announced Wednesday.
Sun Belt Conference matchups against Arkansas-Little Rock, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy and league newcomer Texas State highlight the home slate, which kicks off with a three-game set against Miami (Ohio) Feb. 14-16.
The Miami series starts a 9-game home stand to open the year in Jonesboro, a month-long run that features a non-conference series against Illinois State and mid-week games with UA-Monticello and Southeast Missouri. The Red Wolves will also host a non-conference series match up with Creighton March 7-9 and will travel to Alabama-Birmingham Feb. 28 – March 2 for its only non-league road series of the year. A midweek two-game road test against Missouri State will take place March 4-5 and a trip to Murray State March 11 will be A-State's final test before opening conference play.
"We really like our home schedule early in the season," Raffo said. "It provides great competition early versus some very good MVC schools, Illinois State, Creighton and Missouri State. We think it will help us prepare for one of the toughest conferences in the country. The Sun Belt was rated the 5th best last year and with the addition of Texas State, UT Arlington and Georgia State it should keep getting better."
The Red Wolves open SBC play March 14-16 against in-state foe Arkansas-Little Rock while other home league matchups include Texas State (March 25-30), ULM (April 18-20), Louisiana-Lafayette (May 2-4) and Troy (9-11). Both the Ragin' Cajuns and Trojans participated in the NCAA regionals a year ago.
A-State's five league road series include trips to SBC newcomers UT-Arlington (March 21-23) and Georgia State (April 25-27), as well as visits to Western Kentucky (April 4-6), South Alabama (April 11-13) and UALR (May 15-17).
Several exciting midweek games also highlight the 2014 schedule, including home-and-home series with regional opponents Ole Miss and Memphis and in-state foe Central Arkansas. A-State will travel to Oxford March 19 and the Rebels will make the return to Jonesboro May 13 for the Red Wolves' final home game of the season.
Memphis will be in Jonesboro March 25 with the Red Wolves traveling to the Tigers home stadium April 15, while UCA play in Jonesboro April 8 after the scheduled match up was cancelled last season due to weather. The Red Wolves will be in Conway April 22.
The 2014 SBC Baseball Championship will be held at Stanky Field in Mobile, Ala., May 21-25. NCAA play begins the following weekend with campus sites hosting regional action May 30-June 2.