Youngstown -- The Youngstown State baseball team will open its 2011 season three weeks from today at East Carolina, starting a challenging schedule assembled by head coach Rich Pasquale.
ECU is the first of nine different teams on YSU's schedule that finished with at least 30 wins in 2010. The three-game series with the Pirates also begins a 17-game road stretch to start the season for YSU.
The Penguins will have a home-heavy back end of the schedule in preparation for the Horizon League Tournament, which is scheduled to be played May 25-29 at Wright State's Nischwitz Stadium.
Highlighting the home schedule will be a School Day Game against Akron on May 18 at 11 a.m. The Penguins will partner with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in inviting school students to attend the game for $5 per child. The $5 includes the game ticket and lunch. There will be educational activities throughout the game.
YSU's main attraction on the road will be a doubleheader against Milwaukee at Miller Park, home of the MLB's Milwaukee Brewers, on April 29.
The home opener will be March 23 against Penn State-Behrend at Eastwood Field, and the Penguins' only scheduled contest at Cene Park in Struthers is March 29 against Walsh.
After the series at ECU, YSU will play three-game sets at the College of Charleston, Cincinnati and Tennessee Tech the next three weekends. YSU will then play a single game at Xavier on March 16 before playing four games at the PSC Panther Classic in Pittsburgh March 18-20. Other teams at the tournament include Toledo, Niagara and Pitt.
Following YSU's home opener against Penn State-Behrend, the Penguins will open up Horizon League play at Wright State on March 25. They'll return home to play Walsh and Niagara during the week before playing three games at Le Moyne on April 2-3. YSU will play at Akron on April 5 to conclude a brief four-game road stint, and the Penguins will face Butler on April 8-9 in their first home league series.
YSU will play Kent State at home on April 13 for their only home contest in a seven-game stretch before hosting Cleveland State on April 22-23. A game at Ohio on April 26 and the doubleheader at Miller Park on April 29 will wrap up April.
The Guins will play 10 of their 15 regular-season games in May at Eastwood Field, seven of which will be league contests. YSU will play a Sunday afternoon doubleheader at noon against UIC on May 1, and the Guins' first home night contest of the year will be May 3 against Allegheny at 6 p.m. Milwaukee will then come to town for a three-game series that weekend.
YSU will play a doubleheader at Butler on May 13, then return home for a doubleheader against Wright State two days later. The Guins will play Pitt under the Eastwood Field lights at 6 p.m. on May 17, and the home finale will be the Kids Day game against Akron on May 18.
YSU's regular season wraps up with a three-game series at UIC on May 19-20.