Schedule Announced For Big East/Big Ten Challenge

Oct. 20, 2010

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PARK RIDGE, Ill. – The Big East and Big Ten conferences, in conjunction with the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission released the schedule for the third Big East/Big Ten Baseball Challenge. The 2011 Challenge will feature eight teams from each conference playing in 24 games over three days to open the college baseball season from Feb. 18-20.

The 2011 Challenge will feature Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall, St. John’s and West Virginia from the Big East, as well as Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue from the Big Ten. The event will be played at current and former Major League facilities in the St. Pete/Clearwater area, including Bright House Field and Dunedin Stadium, the spring homes of the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays, respectively. Games will also be played at Clearwater’s Jack Russell Memorial Stadium, and St. Petersburg’s Al Lang Field and the Walter Fuller Baseball (Naimoli) Complex.

This event will serve as the opening three games for the Iowa baseball team. The Hawkeyes will open their 2011 campaign against West Virginia (Feb. 18), followed by contests against Pittsburgh (Feb. 19) and Seton Hall (Feb. 20). Iowa returns a majority of its position starters and pitching staff from a team that amassed 30 victories, finished third in the Big Ten regular season and advanced to the conference tournament championship game a year ago. Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm is excited for this event and next season.

“The Big East/Big Ten Baseball Challenge is an excellent opportunity for us to compete against quality teams,” said Dahm. “Our team looks forward to starting the year in Florida at this event each season. We want to continue to build on the success we enjoyed last year and have an even better season in 2011.”

“Hosting this event gives us a great opportunity to highlight the St. Pete/Clearwater area and why we are a leader in sports tourism,” said Kevin Smith, Director of St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission. “Kicking off the baseball season is what our area has done for decades and we look forward to continuing that tradition with the BIG EAST and Big Ten Conferences.”

The 2011 Challenge will feature tripleheaders at Jack Russell Memorial Stadium and Al Lang Field on Friday and Saturday, while the same ballparks will host doubleheaders on Sunday morning and afternoon. Friday also features an evening doubleheader at Dunedin Stadium, while Bright House Field hosts a twin bill on Saturday night. The Challenge also includes four games played Sunday morning and afternoon at the Walter Fuller Baseball Complex.

The Big Ten won the inaugural Challenge in 2009, 15-9, while the Big East was victorious in the 2010 event, 17-13. The Hawkeyes went 2-1 in the event a year ago.

Ticket information for the 2011 Challenge will be released at a later date.

Iowa at West Virginia
Penn State at Seton Hall
Minnesota at St. John’s
Ohio State at Cincinnati
Illinois at Pittsburgh
Michigan at Louisville
Michigan State at Notre Dame
Purdue at Connecticut

Cincinnati at Illinois
Seton Hall at Michigan State
West Virginia at Penn State
St. John’s at Michigan
4Connecticut at Minnesota
Notre Dame at Purdue
Louisville at Ohio State
Pittsburgh at Iowa

Michigan at Connecticut
Louisville at Minnesota
Penn State at Notre Dame
St. John’s at Ohio State
Cincinnati at Michigan State
Illinois at West Virginia
Seton Hall at Iowa
Purdue at Pittsburgh