The University of Illinois has released their 2008 baseball schedule. The Illini open the '08 season in Edinburg, Texas at the Al Ogletree Classic. The tournament will be held from February 22 - 24. None of Illinois' three opponents are known as of yet.
Coach Hartleb's side then does a little two-step over to Waco for that Quala-T Imprints Baylor Classic. (Hey, at least, they got a sponsor, right?) That series opens on February 29 with a game against the host, Baylor. The next day is Stephen F. Austin and the finale features the Blue and Orange versus Illinois-Chicago. (UI goes all the way to Waco to play UIC. Gotta love it.)
The next weekend features a rare four game road test against Texas Tech at Lubbock. (Hopefully, the team will visit the college baseball hall of fame.) The last series in the Lone Star State concludes on March 9.
After the Texas, the Fightin' Illini head for Florida and their Spring Break Trip. Beginning on March 14, the Illini will play Eastern Kentucky, Miami (OH), Akron, UMBC, Kansas, Northern Iowa and Central Connecticut State. The only day off will be March 17.
The Illini head north to play Indiana State in Terre Haute on March 25 before launching the Big Ten season on the road at Michigan State. The weekend in East Lansing begins on March 28. The other road opposition, in-conference is Indiana, Minnesota and Ohio State.
While the home opener is April 2 against Saint Louis, the first Big Ten home date in April 11 when Michigan comes calling. Penn State, Northwestern and Purdue are all visiting Champaign-Urbana in 2008, as well.
Per usual, I'm leaving out a few midweek, non-conference tilts, but I did leave you a link to the entire schedule after all. Besides, we'll have plenty of time down the road to discuss the quality of everyone's non-conference slate.