Auburn releases 2014 baseball schedule

Anthony Hall/Auburn University photo

The Tigers' non-conference schedule is a little better than it was last year.

Auburn released its 2014 baseball schedule Wednesday morning, showing the path Sunny Golloway will take in his first season on the Plains. While it leaves a little to be desired, it's certainly better than last year.

The Tigers open the season on the road at the Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla., Feb. 14-16. The tournament will be played at the Tampa Bay Rays' spring training facility and includes Ohio State, Indiana State and Connecticut, an NCAA tourney team from a year ago. The following weekend, Auburn will host its annual tournament, facing East Tennessee State, California and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Cal missed the tourney last year, but the Bears have been three times since 2008 and they made it to Omaha in 2011.

The final two non-conference series are set for Plainsman Park against Presbyterian and Mercer.

The sixth-annual Capital City Classic will be played against Alabama at Montgomery's Riverwalk Stadium on Tuesday, March 4. The rest of the Tigers' midweek contests are against the usual suspects: home games against Alabama State, Alabama A&M, Kennesaw State, Coppin State, Samford, Troy, South Alabama, Bethune-Cookman and UAB, and return trips to Kennesaw and Samford. Aside from the matchup against South Alabama, which went 43-20 and advanced to the Starkville Regional last year, there's not much to celebrate midweek.

While the non-conference slate might not be great, Auburn makes up for it in SEC play. The Tigers have home series against Texas A&M, Missouri, South Carolina, Mississippi State and LSU, and road trips to Tennessee, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas and Kentucky.

Golloway says starting the year away from home will be a good test for his team.

"I think our pre-conference schedule is going to be a demanding one," Golloway said in the school's official press release. "We tweaked it a little so we could travel as a team (to open the season). I think it's always good to travel as a team, it gives a new team and a new coaching staff an opportunity to become a lot closer when you're on the road, so that's why we set that first weekend to be on the road. Down the road, I think we'd much rather be able to open at home. It's exciting for our fans and our players. But this year, I think it would be best-suited for us to go on the road.

"It's going to be very demanding. We're going to have Ohio State, Indiana State and Connecticut. UConn is a team that always makes the NCAA Tournament; in fact, I had a chance to compete against them in a regional last year, so I know how talented they're going to be early on. That's going to be a great test for us."

For the complete schedule, click here.

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