Baseball: Northwestern releases 44-game schedule 11 days ahead of first game


Daily file photo by Brian Meng

Men’s player squats on baseball diamond.

John Riker, Assistant Sports Editor


Northwestern released a 44-game schedule on Monday for its 2021 baseball season, with the first game set to be played March 5 against Penn State.

The schedule announcement comes nearly one year after the coronavirus pandemic cut short the 2020 college baseball season. The Wildcats were 6-7 at the time of the NCAA’s decision and had yet to play a home game or a Big Ten game.

Coronavirus precautions worked their way into NU’s 2021 schedule as well, though the Cats are still slated to play 44 games. NU will only square off against Big Ten teams, boosting the number of conference games from the normal 24 to 44. Along with its delayed start, the conclusion of the Cats’ regular season has been shifted back to the end of May, with the final regular season series running from May 28-30 against Ohio State.

Aside from the Cats’ opening game on March 5, NU’s contest against Minnesota on March 19 stands out as an important date on the Cats’ calendar. The game will be the first game played in NU’s home stadium, Rocky and Berenice Miller Park, since May 18, 2019, which also featured Minnesota.

2021 marks the Cats’ sixth season with coach Spencer Allen at the helm. NU’s best season with Allen came in 2017, when the Cats finished 13-11 in Big Ten play and reached the Big Ten Conference Championship Game. NU welcomes back most of its 2020 squad — five of the six players to hit 10 or more times in the 2020 season will be back in purple, while all five of its pitchers with over 10 innings of action in 2020 return to the rotation.

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Twitter: @john__riker

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