GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- University of North Dakota Head Baseball Coach Jeff Dodson unveiled his team's 2014 schedule Thursday, a 45-game slate that includes the first season of UND's inclusion in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
"We're really excited to be going into the WAC," Dodson said. "The caliber of teams in the WAC are very good and we're looking forward to it."
The 27-game WAC schedule commences March 14 when North Dakota travels to Utah Valley-- one of four former Great West opponents joining the league this season-- for the first of nine three-game league series.
"We're going to play three-games series instead of four, so it'll allow our pitching to have a better chance to recover and give us a better chance to perform mid-week as well."
UND gets the season started Feb. 28 in Lawrence, Kan. to play former Great West Conference foe Houston Baptist before battling the host Jayhawks of Kansas. Another non-league four-game slate happens a week later at Saint Louis University before the opening of WAC play.
A non-conference game at UNLV and a four-game series at Creighton at TD Ameritrade Ballpark, home of the NCAA College World Series, are among the non-conference road highlights. Home-and-home series with South Dakota State and North Dakota State round out the non-league schedule.
"Any time you can play a college game on campus versus at a neutral site, it's always better and it's something we're excited about," Dodson said about the NDSU home-and-home returning to home venues. UND opens with a game at Newman Field in Fargo, N.D. on April 29 and the Bison make the return trip May 7 at Kraft Field in Grand Forks.
The home opener comes March 28 with Northern Colorado making the trek to Kraft Memorial Field. Other home opponents include New Mexico State (Apr. 11-13), Seattle (Apr. 25-27), Grand Canyon (May 9-11) and Minnesota Crookston (Apr. 2).
The 2014 WAC Tournament will be held May 22-25 in Mesa, Ariz. at the site of the brand new spring training home for the Chicago Cubs.