WORCESTER, Mass. - The Holy Cross baseball team has released its 2011 schedule, announced by athletic director Richard M. Regan, Jr. and head coach Greg DiCenzo. The squad will play in 52 total games starting with a trip to Baton Rouge, La., to compete against the program's first-ever SEC opponent, Louisiana State, from Feb. 25-27.
After the opening weekend against the Tigers, the Crusaders will embark on a one-week trip through North Carolina and Virginia. With North Carolina-Wilmington serving as host, Holy Cross will play a three-game set with Villanova, St. Joseph's and the Seahawks (March 5-6). The team will continue its road series with a mid-week trip to Gardner-Webb on March 8-9 and finish with a round-robin series at host Virginia Commonwealth from March 11-13 against the Rams and Princeton.
Holy Cross will host its first competitor, Quinnipiac, at Fitton Field on March 15 at 3:00 p.m. Albany and St. John's visit Worcester next, as the Crusaders host the Great Danes for two 4:00 p.m. games on March 18 and 19 and the Red Storm on March 20 at 1:00 p.m. The March slate will end with trips to Connecticut (March 22), Columbia (March 26-27) and Harvard (March 30) as well as home games against Boston College (March 23) and Massachusetts (March 29).
The Patriot League season will get under way with a doubleheader on April 2 in West Point, N.Y., versus Army. The team will travel to two other non-conference opponents (Hartford and Marist) before hosting Bucknell, the reigning Patriot League champions the weekend of April 9-10. Holy Cross will go to Lafayette from April 16-17 before hosting its last five opponents; Brown (April 20), Navy (April 23-24), Yale (April 26), Siena (April 27) and Lehigh (April 30-May 1).
After the season wraps up against Lehigh, the Crusaders will aim for another trip to the Patriot League Championship. The top four Patriot League teams will play for the league title, starting with the semifinal round from May 14-15 with the top two teams continuing to play in the champion ship round from May 21-22.
Holy Cross is coming off a 26-26 2010 campaign and a second-place Patriot League Tournament finish. Last year's team registered program record-highs in almost all batting categories, including a .319 batting average, a .477 slugging percentage, 1,785 at bats, 367 runs, 569 hits, 114 doubles, 45 home runs, 852 total bases and 340 RBI. The 2011 team will be led by senior co-captains Jack Laurendeau (Sudbury, Mass.), a 2010 first team All-Patriot League pick, and Eric Oxford (Danvers, Mass.).