The Texas A&M-Corpus Christi baseball team has announced a challenging 56-game schedule that includes four Big 12 teams and one team each from the Southeastern Conference, Pac-10, and Conference USA. The Islanders will once again host the Southland Conference Tournament at Whataburger Field May 26-29.
Aside from a 33-game Southland Conference slate, the Islanders will take on Texas and Texas Tech twice, Nebraska, and Oklahoma from the Big 12. They will face UCLA and Mississippi State in the 2010 version of the Whataburger College Classic. Earlier in the season, A&M-Corpus Christi will participate in the Rice Invitational and returns for a single game in mid-April.
"A goal of our program has always been to achieve a higher level of recognition within our state," said Islander head coach Scott Malone. "Once again, our schedule will provide our players the opportunity to play some of the most recognized teams in the state of Texas as well as in the nation."
For the first time under Malone, the Islanders will open a season at home playing four straight at Chapman Field, which had several improvements made over the summer including new dugouts and a backstop. Prairie View A&M and the Islanders start the year with a three-game set beginning Friday, Feb. 20. Houston Baptist visits the following Tuesday.
"In the three years that I have been involved with this program, this year is the first time we have opened up at home," said Malone. "With the renovations we have done at Chapman Field, the team is excited about the opportunity to begin a season on campus in front of our fans and students."
Four straight road games follow including an appearance at the Rice Invitational. The Islanders will face Nebraska, Elon and the host Owls.
"An early season trip to Houston for the Rice Invitational will provide an early test featuring games against Nebraska and the host team Rice," said Malone. "The challenge at the tournament will be followed later in the season with road games against Texas Tech (March 23-24) and Texas (Apr. 6-7)."
The Islanders return home to make their Whataburger Field debut on March 2 against Texas A&M-Kingsville. The game is not only the final tune-up for Southland Conference play, it is the first regular season meeting between the two sides.
"I am excited about the March 2 match-up against Texas A&M-Kingsville at Whataburger Field. It will kick off a slate of 10 home games that will be played at the award winning home of the Corpus Christi Hooks.
"The high point of the home schedule will be the fourth annual Whataburger College Classic (March 12-14) highlighted by games with UCLA, Oklahoma and a doubleheader with Mississippi State," said Malone. "The weekend will be another challenge for us as we look to prepare ourselves for the conference race."
After opening Southland play at Texas State prior to the WCC, the Islanders return to SLC action with Nicholls visiting Chapman Field from March 19-21. A&M-Corpus Christi also hosts UTSA (April 1-3) and Lamar (April 9-11) at Whataburger Field. In late April and early May, Southeastern Louisiana (April 23-25) and UT Arlington (April 30-May 2) visits Chapman Field. They close the regular season at Chapman Field with defending tournament champion Sam Houston State visiting.