"It has been my goal since I was hired to raise the profile of the Islanders baseball program," Malone said. "By playing a demanding schedule against not only some of the best teams in the state of Texas, but some of the best programs throughout the entire NCAA, we are reaching new heights. Whataburger Field is one of the finest venues for baseball in the United States and it is a great advantage for Islander Baseball to make our home there."
The Kleberg Bank College Classic, played at Whataburger Field from Feb. 25-27, will feature two-time national champion Oregon State, 2010 NCAA Regional host Connecticut and 2009 Big Ten Champion Indiana along with the host Islanders. Kleberg Bank enters its first year as a title sponsor of the event.
"The College Classic has been the site of two of the biggest wins in our program's history," Malone said. "Last year's victory over Mississippi State and our 2008 win over perennial power Notre Dame have both enhanced local interest in Islanders Baseball and helped to create a buzz for local baseball fans for the Classic in general. It is always an exciting weekend for baseball fans and this year's version will not disappoint."
Texas A&M - Corpus Christi will open the 2011 campaign by hosting a four-game set against Mississippi Valley State at Chapman Field from Feb. 18-20. The squad then takes to the road for a game against the University of Texas on Tuesday, Feb. 22, before returning to the Coastal Bend for the College Classic. Following a doubleheader at Houston Baptist on March 1, the Islanders open Southland Conference play against Texas State, with Friday and Sunday games scheduled at Whataburger Field.
After a midweek doubleheader with UT-Pan American on March 8, Malone's squad will head to Lubbock, Texas, for five games in four days - three against host Texas Tech and two against the University of Iowa. Texas A&M - Corpus Christi then departs for a road series against Nicholls State on March 18-20.
The Islanders host the University of Texas on Tuesday, April 5, at Whataburger Field in a contest scheduled for 6 p.m. Other home non-conference opponents at Chapman Field include UT - Brownsville, Houston Baptist and UT - Pan American. In addition to a contest at Rice on April 20 in Houston, the Islanders also have a road game against Houston-Victoria on April 7.
In conference play, the team will host McNeese State (at Whataburger Field March 25-27), in addition to Stephen F. Austin, Central Arkansas and Northwestern State. Road series will take place at UTSA, Lamar, Southeastern Louisiana, UT Arlington and Sam Houston State. The season will conclude with the Southland Conference Tournament, beginning on May 25 in San Marcos, Texas.