AUBURN, Ala. – The defending Southeastern Conference Western Division champion Auburn baseball team will play 26 games against teams that made the 2010 NCAA Tournament as the team released the 2011 schedule on Thursday. Auburn will play a total of 33 games at home, beginning with the season-opener against Arkansas State on Friday, Feb. 18 at 6pm.
The opener is a part of the Auburn Tournament, which in its second season will also include Virginia from the Atlantic Coast Conference and UAB from Conference USA, which were both top-five conferences in 2010 according to WarrenNolan.com.
Auburn will also play in a pre-conference tournament at the College of Charleston the weekend of March 4-6 before playing host to College World Series participant Arizona State from March 11-13 at Plainsman Park.
"The 2011 schedule presents a great challenge to this young team as we prepare for another quest to make the SEC Tournament and post-season play," Auburn Head Coach John Pawlowski said. "We host a tough preseason tournament and we have a return trip from Arizona State which should pose big challenges for the 17 new faces on our team as we head into the rigors of the SEC schedule."
The SEC slate begins on March 18 with Arkansas visiting Plainsman Park.
Of the five SEC teams that heads to Auburn this season, four of them played in last season's NCAA Tournament in Arkansas, Vanderbilt (April 1-3), Ole Miss (April 22-24) and Alabama (May 13-15). The other conference foe to head to the Plains is Georgia (May 6-8).
Auburn will play at Mississippi State (March 25-27), at Kentucky (April 8-10), at LSU (April 15-17), at defending National Champion South Carolina (April 29-May 1) and at Tennessee (May 19-21) in conference play.
Midweek home-and-homes are scheduled with Jacksonville State (Feb. 22 and Mar. 22), Troy (Mar. 29 and Apr. 5), South Alabama (Apr. 20 and May 17) and Samford (Apr. 26 and May 10), with the first game of each series being played at Plainsman Park and the second on the road.
The third annual Capital City Classic takes place on Tuesday, March 15 at Montgomery's Riverwalk Stadium. Auburn has defeated Alabama in each of the first two Classics.
The 2011 SEC Tournament returns to Hoover May 25-29 and NCAA Regionals begin on June 2.