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Challenging 2016 Cal Poly Baseball Schedule Released

Challenging 2016 Cal Poly Baseball Schedule Released


SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Five games against Pac-12 schools, an 11-game homestand to open the year, a three-game series at Wichita State and 30 home games highlight the 2016 Cal Poly baseball schedule announced Monday by Mustang director of athletics Don Oberhelman and head coach Larry Lee.

Cal Poly, which captured its first Big West Conference championship and hosted an NCAA regional for the first time in 2014 and has qualified for regional play three times in the last seven years, will play 13 games against teams which qualified for the NCAA regionals in 2015.

The Mustangs will host UCLA, Cal State Fullerton and UC Santa Barbara for three-game series and Pepperdine and California for one midweek contest each. The other two games against regional teams of a year ago will be single midweek games at Pepperdine and Cal.

"With the amount of new incoming players, our schedule will be a challenge for our team," said Lee, who has coached the Mustangs for 13 seasons. "We are able to open up at home for the first three weeks and then go on the road for the next three."

Cal Poly opens the 2016 slate with a four-game series against former Big West Conference rival Pacific, including a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 20. The Mustangs continue their season-opening 11-game home stand with a three-game series against UCLA, a midweek contest against Pepperdine and a three-game set against San Francisco.

Cal Poly then will play 10 games in a row on the road -- opening with a single game at Pepperdine followed by three-game series at Grand Canyon, Sacramento State and Wichita State.

The Mustangs play their final pre-Big West Conference series at home against San Jose State on April 1-3.

Cal Poly, which finished fourth in the Big West a year ago, will play all three teams which finished ahead of the Mustangs at home in 2016, hosting Cal State Fullerton on April 7-9, UC Santa Barbara on April 22-24 and UC Irvine on May 13-15.

The Mustangs wrap up the 2016 season at home as well by hosting UC Davis on Memorial Day weekend (May 26-28).

In addition to Pepperdine, Cal Poly's midweek opponents at home will be CSU Bakersfield on March 29, Cal on April 12, Fresno State on April 19 and Santa Clara on May 3. Cal Poly will visit each school for midweek games as well.

Big West series on the road for the Mustangs are Hawai'i on April 15-17, Long Beach State on April 29-May 1, CSUN on May 6-8 and UC Riverside on May 20-22.

Cal Poly, which played 29 of its 56 games at home in both 2013 and 2014, played 28 home contests in 2015 and will play 30 games at home next spring for the first time since 2010.

A year ago, the Mustangs opened 1-6 and were eight games under the .500 mark before turning things around. Cal Poly hit .303 over their final 23 games, improved their defense by fielding at a .980 clip, won 17 of its final 26 games (including 13 of 15 at home) and made a run for the Big West title before settling for a fourth-place finish and a break-even 27-27 record.

The Mustangs were  17-11 at home last season and have won 113 of their last 148 home games for a winning percentage of 76.4 percent. Cal Poly won each of its four Big West series at home, compiling a 10-2 mark, but lost all four conference road series, two games to one, despite winning the opener each time.

Cal Poly has finished fourth or higher in the Big West 12 times in its last 14 seasons and has posted ten 30-victory campaigns since 2000. The Mustangs have produced 13 non-losing seasons in the last 16 years.