Head baseball coach Brian Schmack announced his club's schedule for the 2016 season Wednesday. 2016 represents the 100th anniversary of the Crusaders' inaugural team.
The Crusaders will open their season on the third weekend in February when they head to Alabama to face Jacksonville State Feb. 19th-21st. They'll make a return trip south of the Mason-Dixon Line the following weekend to kick off their spring trip. New Orleans will host Valpo in a three-game set beginning February 26th.
Following their series with New Orleans, the Brown and Gold will remain in the Pelican State for another eight days to take on Louisiana-Monroe (Mar. 1-2), Louisiana Tech (Mar. 4-6), and Grambling State (Mar. 8). Schmack and the Crusaders will round out their trek with three games against Dallas Baptist. The Patriots have made five NCAA Regional appearances in the last eight years, including a cameo in the 2011 Super Regionals. Valpo's five-city stop is projected to cover just under 2,500 miles.
Horizon League action kicks off Friday, March 18th when Northern Kentucky welcomes Valpo to the Bill Aker Baseball Complex for a three-game series.
The gates to Emory G. Bauer Field will open on Thursday, Mar. 24th when Valpo and Wright State kick off a three-game series.
A mid-week tilt with Ball State is slated for Tuesday, Mar. 29th before the Crusaders travel down to West Lafayette the next day to open a home-and-home with Purdue. The Boilermakers return to town Wednesday, May 11th.
Illinois State will make its first trip to Valparaiso since 1989 on April 5th. Valpo and Notre Dame will continue its series the following day at the newly-renovated Frank Eck Stadium. The April 6th tilt represents the fifth consecutive season the two teams have met.
The Crusaders and Eastern Michigan Eagles will face each other for the first time in program history. EMU visits Emory G. Bauer Field on Friday, Apr. 8th before Valpo turns around and heads to Ypsilanti to complete the home-and-home on Apr. 9th.
Valpo opens its longest homestand of the season - six games - on Apr. 23rd. Milwaukee comes to Northwest Indiana for a doubleheader on Saturday before the Brown and Gold host UIC for three contests Apr. 29th-May 1st. A non-league meeting with Chicago State is scheduled for Tuesday, Apr. 26th.
The final five games of the regular season will be played at home. Oakland stops by for a doubleheader on May 15th before Youngstown State is slated to face the Crusaders from May 19th-21st.
The regular season champion will host the 2016 Horizon League Championships. The four-day event commences on Wednesday, May 25th and wraps up Saturday, May 28th.