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Baseball team's 2010 schedule announced

Tri-captain Tom Beaton '10

LEWISTON, Maine -- Bates College head baseball coach Edwin Thompson today announced the team's 36-game schedule for the 2010 season.

Bates will play teams from 10 different conferences and five games against teams from Division I or II, and four games against teams that are in the Division III preseason top 25 rankings. The 2010 schedule features 24 games against teams that advanced to their conference postseason tournament, eight contests against squads that qualified for the NCAA or NAIA regional championships, and two teams that made it to the College World Series.

"I feel that this year's schedule will certainly test us early and often," said Thompson. "We are playing 10 new teams on the schedule, including four games vs. Division II scholarship teams and one against the University of Maine, which has been to the College World Series seven times.

"This is going to be one of the toughest schedules we have had in many years here at Bates. For our program to take steps we have to play against some of the best teams across the country. This year the key is to be more competitive in NESCAC games, with the first goal always being to make the NESCAC tournament and the second goal being an NCAA Regional berth."

Bates opens the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 17, traveling to South Carolina to play against Claflin University, a Division II school that had 22 wins and made it to their conference playoffs last year. The Bobcats will continue their trip by playing two games vs Richard Stockton of New Jersey. Last year’s meeting saw Richard Stockton beat the Bobcats 18-3.

The Bobcats will again hit the road in early March, to the Washington, D.C., area, to play five games in three days March 18-21. There they’ll play defending Centennial Conference champion Catholic University, followed by Washington Adventist University, a Division II school in Takoma Park, Md., which won the 2008 United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national title and last year lost in the championship game. The final stop on the trip will be against Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Virginia. "We will really be able to see what type of team we are playing five of the toughest games on our schedule in a three-day period and doing it on the road," said Thompson.

The Bobcats will then come back up north to play a midweek double header against Husson University, a team which went 33-13, won the North Atlantic Conference and went to the NCAA Regionals, going 2-2. The home opener will be vs. the University of Maine at Farmington on March 31. The homestand continues April 2 and 3, when NESCAC play starts with the Bobcats welcoming Tufts.

On April 6 the Bobcats will travel to play a mid week game vs. Thomas College, a team that made it to its conference playoffs last year. On the road again, the Bobcats will travel to play defending NESCAC and New England regional champion Trinity, which made it to the College World Series. Trinity is ranked No. 9 in the pre-season top 25 poll for Division III. "This series is so important for our program, to see if we have made strides in a year," said Thompson.

The Bobcats will then have a week off from games as they final exams. On April 19 the Bobcats will travel to Boston to play a doubleheader vs. two different teams, Emerson and Lasell. On April 20, the Bobcats will travel to Orono to play at the University of Maine. "A game against a program like UMaine is special for our program and a great opportunity for players," said Thompson. On the 21st they will be back home for a doubleheader vs University of Maine at Presque Isle. That will be the final tuneup before the Bobcats resume NESCAC play April 23-24 as they host rival Colby.

The Bobcats will again be on the road April 26th to play Plymouth State and then again on the 27th to play a doubleheader at UMaine-Farmington. The final NESCAC weekend will be against rival Bowdoin May 1-2.

Bates will finish the regular season with a doubleheader against NAIA Sunrise Conference champion Fisher College coming to Leahey Field for the final home games of the season, a doubleheader on May 5. The final regular season game is against in-state rival and No. 12-ranked Southern Maine, which last year was ranked first in the country and made it to the NCAA Championships. The NESCAC Championships are May 8-11. The Bobcats will also play an alumni game on May 14. The NCAA tournament follows ,May 19-23, with the College World Series May 25-29.