The University of Kentucky baseball team is looking for a bounce-back.
Coming off a 26-29 2019 season weighted down with youthful inexperience and injuries, Coach Nick Mingione’s Wildcats will test themselves in 2020 against one of the most difficult schedules in the country.
Kentucky’s schedule, which was revealed Monday, includes four opponents who played in last season’s College World Series, including national champion Vanderbilt.
The Cats will also face 2019 CWS contenders Louisville, Mississippi State and Auburn this season.
UK’s 56-game regular-season schedule includes 31 against schools that played in last season’s NCAA Tournament.
Kentucky opens its campaign against one such school when it visits Texas Christian University for a three-game series Feb. 14-16 at Fort Worth.
The Wildcats follow up that trip with a 15-game home stand at Kentucky Proud Park that starts with the team’s home opener Feb. 18 against Southeast Missouri. Kentucky plays 36 home games in 2020.
The home stand also includes three games each against Appalachian State, UNC Wilmington and Bradley in addition to single-game dates with Tennessee Tech, Eastern Kentucky, Cincinnati, Murray State and Western Kentucky. UNC Wilmington and Cincinnati both played in the NCAA Tournament last season.
That home stretch sets up the Cats for their opening Southeastern Conference series March 13-15 in Nashville against Vanderbilt.
Kentucky’s first SEC home series comes against Florida from March 20-22.
UK also hosts SEC series against Alabama (April 3-5), LSU (April 9-11), Missouri (April 23-25) and South Carolina (May 8-10).
Kentucky other conference road series at Mississippi State (March 27-29), Auburn (April 16-18), Tennessee (May 1-3) and Georgia (May 14-16).
The Wildcats’ annual rivalry games against Louisville take place April 7 at Kentucky Proud Park and April 21 at the Cardinals’ Jim Patterson Stadium.
Game times and television assignments for all games will be announced at a later date.
Home games in capital letters.
14-16: At TCU; 18: SOUTHEAST MISSOURI; 21-23: APPALACHIAN STATE; 25: TENNESSEE TECH; 26: EASTERN KENTUCKY; 28-29: UNC WILMINGTON.
1: UNC WILMINGTON; 3: CINCINNATI; 4: MURRAY STATE; 6-8: BRADLEY; 10: WESTERN KENTUCKY; 13-15: At Vanderbilt; 17: At Indiana; 20-22: FLORIDA; 24: MOREHEAD STATE; 27-29: At Mississippi State.
1: XAVIER; 3-5: ALABAMA; 7: LOUISVILLE; 9-11: LSU; 14: TENNESSEE MARTIN; 16-18: At Auburn; 21: At Louisville; 23-25: MISSOURI.
1-3: At Tennessee; 5: WRIGHT STATE; 8-10: SOUTH CAROLINA; 12: NORTHERN KENTUCKY; 14-16: At Georgia.