Dec. 17, 2008

Courtesy of Fresno State

FRESNO, Calif. - Head baseball coach Mike Batesole and Fresno State announced the 2009 schedule Monday. The reigning NCAA National Champions have a tough schedule to help prepare them for a run at their fourth-straight WAC championship.

"We want our pre-season schedule to put us in games and situations that are difficult," said Batesole. "This will prepare us for our WAC schedule and why we open with our first eight games against Pac-10 and Big West opponents. With our many freshmen on the 2009 roster, this will give us a very strong test early."

The Bulldogs open the season against Washington (Feb. 20-22), who finished in the middle of the Pac-10. The `Dogs will travel to Oregon and face the Ducks in a three game series (Feb. 27- March 1). Also, mixed in their first eight games are single games against Cal Poly and UC Davis. The Bulldogs will play two teams (Oregon and Cal State Bakersfield) in their inaugural seasons.

Fresno State will welcome Buffalo, Portland, and Cal State Bakersfield for the 31st annual Pepsi Johnny Quik Tournament. The tournament will be held on March 9-14 at Beiden Field.

The Bulldogs wrap-up pre-season games against Loyola Marymount (March 20-22), Atalantic Sun Conference champions,Lipscomb (March 27-29), and Cal State Bakersfield (April 3-5, 7-8) before heading into a rigorous WAC play.

The `Dogs begin their quest for their fourth-straight WAC Championship when they open WAC play on April 10 against New Mexico State at home.

"To win the WAC a team must be versatile," said Batesole. "The team that wins the WAC, year in and year out will be the team with the best road league schedule. Our most difficult challenges will be our WAC road games."

The `Dogs conclude WAC play on the road against Sacramento State before heading to Hawai'i for the WAC Tournament.