Dec. 4, 2013
OREM, Utah -- Utah Valley University baseball coach Eric Madsen has finalized his team's 2014 schedule, the program's first as members of the Western Athletic Conference. The 53-game schedule includes 27 games in the WAC.
The Wolverines, who won the Great West Conference championship in three of the league's four seasons, open with a three-game series at Loyola Marymount on Feb. 14, beginning a string of 16 straight road games to open the season. UVU will spend the majority of the early season in California, with only a two-game midweek at 2012 College World Series champion Arizona (Feb. 18-19) outside of the state.
UVU opens the home schedule with a WAC series against North Dakota, one of three baseball affiliates in the conference. Home series in the WAC, which plays three single games over three days which is a change from the four-game Great West schedule, are North Dakota, defending WAC co-champion Bakersfield, Texas-Pan American, Northern Colorado and Seattle. The WAC road series are Chicago State, Sac State, New Mexico State and Grand Canyon.
Outside of the conference slate of games, Utah Valley will play nine games against schools from the West Coast Conference, seven against Big West schools, four vs. the Pac-12 and three each against Mountain West and Missouri Valley Conference programs.
“This schedule will prepare us for a chance to get into the WAC Tournament, with the ultimate goal an opportunity to qualify for an NCAA Regional," said head coach Eric Madsen. "Having that chance as part of the WAC is an exciting thing for our program and the players had a good fall and are working hard in anticipation of the spring.”
Utah and BYU are each on the schedule for two midweek contests; UVU is playing each team home and away. The three Mountain West opponents are all single midweek games including at defending MW champion New Mexico (May 6) and UNLV (March 25), which finished second. Other midweeks include Cal State Northridge (March 10) and Nevada (May 13) in the third game against a MW school.
The remaining non-conference weekend series after the opening weekend at LMU will be at Pepperdine (Feb. 21-23), four games at Pacific (Feb. 28 - March 2), at Long Beach State (March 7-9) and at Dallas Baptist (March 21-23).
“We realize last year was disappointing but we have a clubhouse full of guys intent on getting us back to where we expect to be. We have work to do just to qualify for the conference tournament and that will be our first priority," Madsen said.
The series at Grand Canyon in Phoenix will precede the WAC Tournament, scheduled for May 21-26 at the Chicago Cubs' new spring training stadium in Mesa. The top six teams qualify for the WAC Tournament.