FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 06, 2004
Baseball Releases Its 2004 Schedule as Season Opens
Feb. 6, 2004
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville University baseball team will look to make its fourth NCAA Regional appearance in six years with a schedule that includes nine games against teams ranked in the preseason top 25 polls. The 2004 slate is highlighted by six teams that earned bids to the NCAA Regionals last season, including four meetings with Florida State and a three-game series with Collegiate Baseball's preseason No. 1 Miami.
In addition to the Seminoles and Hurricanes, JU faces four other teams that made the NCAA Regionals last season - Bethune-Cookman, South Florida, Florida Atlantic and Stetson. The Dolphins will also face the University of North Florida in the 12th annual Mayor's Cup, while playing a total of nine opponents from the state of Florida. The A-Sun continues to be one of the premier baseball conferences in the nation, sending three teams to the NCAA Regionals in 2003 for the fourth-straight season.
The Dolphins will battle the Seminoles twice at Alexander Brest Field, on Sunday, Feb. 15 and Wednesday, April 7, while traveling to Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee on Saturday, Feb. 14 and Wednesday, March 17. JU will also travel to Coral Gables to take on the Hurricanes in a three-game series scheduled for May 7-9.
The nucleus of the 2003 Atlantic Sun Championship Dolphins returns for the 2004 season, led by preseason all-conference third baseman Orlando Diaz (Downers Grove, Ill.) and preseason all-conference first baseman and 2003 A-Sun Freshman of the Year Gordie Gronkowski (Buffalo, N.Y.).
"There aren't many breaks for us this season," said Alexander, who led JU to an A-Sun championship and its third NCAA Regional appearance in five years last season. "We have to go out there and play well every day."
JU will be tested early as the Dolphins open the season with seven games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Regionals last season, playing a two-game series against Bethune-Cookman and Florida State and a three-game series with South Florida.
The 30-game Atlantic Sun schedule includes visits from UCF on April 3 and 4 and Stetson on April 9 and 10.
Stetson will host the 2004 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship for the third-straight year in DeLand, May 26-29.
The Dolphins open their season on the road against Bethune-Cookman at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Saturday at 1 p.m.