Penn State Baseball

Penn State baseball: Nittany Lions release 2015 slate

Five home weekend series and seven more midweek games are on Penn State’s schedule, released Monday.

The 55-game slate includes 22 home games, two on neutral fields, 24 Big Ten contests and five against teams that played in last year’s NCAA tournament.

“We are very excited about the 2015 schedule,” Nittany Lion coach Rob Cooper. “I strongly believe it is important to challenge our program with as tough of a schedule as possible. I believe this schedule does that, while making our program better. I hope to see Nittany Nation at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in 2015.”

Penn State will play most of the early weeks of the season in the Carolinas, starting with the opening series at Elon from Feb. 13-15, followed by a trip to Texas A&M from Feb. 20-22, and the USA Baseball-Irish Classic, hosted by Notre Dame at Cary, N.C., from Feb. 27 to March 1.

The season then continues at Charleston Southern (March 6-8), at South Carolina (March 10-11) and at Liberty (March 13-15) before playing a little closer to home at Pittsburgh on March 17.

The home opener also will be the conference opener, with defending Big Ten champion Indiana visiting Medlar Field at Lubrano Park from March 20-22. That series begins a nine-game homestand, which will also include Villanova (March 25), Central Connecticut State (March 27-29), Binghamton (March 31) and Kent State (April 1).

After a trip to Ohio State (April 3-5), the Lions return home for Bucknell (April 7), Lafayette (April 8) and Michigan (April 10-12).

The rest of the schedule has Penn State hosting West Virginia (April 14) and Bucknell again (April 15), at Minnesota (April 17-19), at Kent State (April 21), home with Illinois (April 24-26), home with Pitt (April 29) and the final home series with Rutgers (May 1-3). The regular season closes at Michigan State (May 8-10) and at Purdue (May 14-16) before the Big Ten tournament at Target Field in Minneapolis from May 20-24.