4th Annual Big Ten/Big East Challenge Schedule Announced

Oct. 4, 2011

PARK RIDGE, Ill. — The Big East and Big Ten conferences, in conjunction with the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Sports Commission, today released the schedule for the fourth annual Big Ten/Big East Baseball Challenge. The 2012 Challenge will feature 10 teams from the Big Ten and nine teams from the Big East playing 30 games over three days to open the college baseball season from Feb. 17-19.

The 2012 Challenge will feature Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue from the Big Ten and Cincinnati, Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Seton Hall, South Florida and West Virginia from the Big East. The event will be played at current and former Major League facilities in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, including Bright House Field and Florida Auto Exchange Stadium, the respective spring homes of the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays. Games will also be played at Clearwater’s Jack Russell Memorial Stadium and St. Petersburg’s Al Lang Stadium and Walter Fuller Baseball Complex.

This event will serve as the opening three games for the Iowa baseball team. The Hawkeyes will open their 2012 campaign against Pittsburgh (Feb. 17), followed by contests against Notre Dame (Feb. 18) and West Virginia (Feb. 19). Iowa faced all three teams a year ago; the Hawkeyes faced Pittsburgh and West Virginia in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge, while they played Notre Dame in a pair of games in San Antonio.

Iowa returns its top four starters on the mound, seniors Jarred Hippen, Nick Brown and Patrick Lala, and junior Matt Dermody. The Hawkeyes also return and a number of middle relievers and closer Tim Fangman. Offensively, the Hawkeyes return five position players and its designated hitter from last season. Iowa Head Coach Jack Dahm is excited for this event and next season.

“The Big Ten/Big East Baseball Challenge provides us an excellent opportunity to compete against quality teams,” said Dahm. “Our team looks forward to starting the year in Florida at this event. We want to get off to a good start and set the tone for a good season.”

The 2012 Challenge will feature tripleheaders at Al Lang and Jack Russell on Friday and Saturday and doubleheaders on Sunday. Friday features an evening doubleheader at Florida Auto Exchange, while Bright House will host a twin bill on Saturday night. The Challenge also includes 10 games at Walter Fuller with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday and six games on Sunday.

The Big Ten won the inaugural Challenge in 2009, 15-9, while the Big East was victorious in 2010, 17-13, and in 2011, 14-10.

Ticket information for the 2012 Challenge will be released at a later date. All times listed are eastern.

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

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

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