The South Dakota State University baseball team is scheduled to play 21 home games and face a challenging non-conference schedule during the upcoming 2013 season.
SDSU is scheduled to open the season Feb. 18 with a Presidents Day doubleheader against Waldorf (Iowa) at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The Jackrabbits will head to Florida later that same week for two games each against Ohio State and Saint Bonaventure (N.Y.).
The Jackrabbits will return south for their annual Spring Break trip, playing a three-game series March 1-3 at Mississippi Valley State, followed by a two-game set at Alcorn State (Miss.) March 5-6. SDSU wraps up the trip March 8-9 with three games in Terre Haute, Ind., playing a pair against Mercer (Ga.) and one against 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifier and host Indiana State.
Resuming action the next weekend, the Jackrabbits head to Saint Louis (Mo.) for a three-game series March 15-17 against the defending co-Atlantic 10 Conference regular season champion Billikens. SDSU will then play a midweek game at 2012 NCAA Tournament qualifier Creighton (Neb.) on March 20 before returning to the Metrodome for a March 27 matchup at Minnesota. The month of March concludes with a three-game series at Northern Colorado.
SDSU will be home nearly the entire month of April as 17 of the team's 22 games in the month are slated to be played at Erv Huether Field. The Jackrabbits' home opener is scheduled for April 3 against Minnesota, with Summit League action beginning with a four-game series April 5-7 against North Dakota State.
"There will be more parity this year than there ever has been in our conference and it's there for us to take," said second-year head coach Dave Schrage.
The Summit League schedule will be under a new format during the 2013 season. Now at six teams on the league roster with the departures of Oral Roberts and Southern Utah, along with the addition of Omaha, the league schedule is expanding from 24 games to 30. Teams will play home-and-home series against the other five league members, with one series consisting of four games and the other a two-game set played as a doubleheader.
The Jackrabbits will travel to Fort Wayne and Oakland April 12 and 14, respectively, followed by home league series against Omaha (April 19), Western Illinois (April 21) and Oakland (April 26-28).
May will be a busy month for league play as the Jackrabbits are scheduled to play their final 14 Summit League games in a 16-day span. Ten of those games will be on the road, starting with a four-game series at Western Illinois May 3-5. The Jackrabbits close out the home portion of their schedule with a four-game set against Fort Wayne on May 10-12, followed by a twinbill at North Dakota State on May 14. The regular season concludes with a four-game series May 16-18 at Omaha.
"We're going to have to be grinders this year," Schrage said. "Heading into that final stretch we're going to have to be healthy and we're going to have to be playing our best baseball."
The top four teams, minus Omaha which is in its transition to full Division I status, will advance to the Summit League Championship in Rochester, Mich., May 23-25.