The defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Illinois State baseball team’s 2011 schedule is highlighted by matchups against seven teams that won 30 or more games last season, it was announced Tuesday.

The schedule also features the annual Horenberger-Bass Classic, which pits the Redbirds against defending NCAA Division III national champion Illinois Wesleyan.

“Our goal is to build on the momentum of last year’s success,” said Illinois State head coach Mark Kingston.  “As a result, we have scheduled more home games than usual. Our new stadium is a great place to watch a game, and we envision the community and student support getting stronger each year.

“Another highlight will be our two-game set at the University of Miami. This level of competition will give us great insight into our strengths and weaknesses as we prepare for the strong Missouri Valley Conference.”

ISU opens its 55-game regular season with 15 consecutive road contests, starting with four games against Belmont in Nashville, Tenn., beginning Feb 18. The Redbirds’ spring break trip begins with three games at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla., March 4-6 before moving on to face Miami, which finished last season ranked 10th nationally.

The Redbirds start their 26-game home schedule March 16 against SIU Edwardsville and open their Missouri Valley Conference slate with an April 8 home date with Creighton.

ISU 2011 baseball schedule

Feb. 18 —at Belmont, 3:30 p.m.

Feb. 19 — at Belmont (2), 11 a.m.

Feb. 20 — at Belmont, 1 p.m.

Feb. 25 — at Austin Peay, 3 p.m.

Feb. 26 — vs. Milwaukee at Clarksville, Tenn., 11 a.m.

Feb. 27 — vs. Milwaukee at Clarksville, Tenn., 11 a.m.

Mar. 4-13 — RussMatt Invite at Winter Haven, Fla.

Mar. 8 — at Miami, 6 p.m.

Mar. 9 — at Miami, 6 p.m.

Mar. 16 — vs. SIU-Edwardsville, 3 p.m.

Mar. 18 — vs. Austin Peay, 3 p.m.

Mar. 19 — vs. Austin Peay, 2 p.m.

Mar. 20 — vs. Austin Peay, 1 p.m.

Mar. 22 — at Purdue, 3 p.m.

Mar. 25 — vs. Oakland, 3 p.m.

Mar. 26 — vs. Oakland, 2 p.m.

Mar. 27 — vs. Oakland, 1 p.m.

Mar. 29 — at Illinois, 6 p.m.

Apr. 1 — vs. Chicago State, 3 p.m.

Apr. 2 — vs. Chicago State (2), noon.

Apr. 3 — vs. Chicago State, 1 p.m.

Apr. 5 — at Northern Illinois, 3:30 p.m.

Apr. 8 — vs. Creighton^, 4:30 p.m.

Apr. 9 — vs. Creighton^, 2 p.m.

Apr. 10 — vs. Creighton^, 1 p.m.

Apr. 12 — vs. Northern Illinois, 3:30 p.m.

Apr. 15 — at Bradley^, 6 p.m.

Apr. 16 — at Bradley^, 2 p.m.

Apr. 17 — at Bradley^, 1 p.m.

Apr. 19 — vs. Illinois, 4:30 p.m.

Apr. 22 — at Wichita State^, 6 pm.

Apr. 23 — at Wichita State^, 2 p.m.

Apr. 24 — at Wichita State^, 1 p.m.

Apr. 26 — vs. Illinois Wesleyan, 4:30 p.m.

Apr. 29 — vs. Indiana State^, 4:30 p.m.

Apr. 30 — vs. Indiana State^, 2 p.m.

May 1 — vs. Indiana State^, 1 p.m.

May 6 — vs. Missouri State^, 4:30 p.m.

May 7 — vs. Missouri State^, 2 p.m.

May 8 — vs. Missouri State^, 1 p.m.

May 11 — at Eastern Illinois, 3 p.m.

May 13 — at Southern Illinois^, 3 p.m.

May 14 — at Southern Illinois^, 2 p.m.

May 15 — at Southern Illinois^, 1 p.m.

May 17 — at Western Illinois, 3:30 p.m.

May 20 — vs. Evansville, 4:30 p.m.

May 21 — vs. Evansville, 2 p.m.

May 22 — vs. Evansville, 1 p.m.

May 25-28 — MVC Tournament at Omaha, Neb.

^ - denotes conference game

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