THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Head Coach Marty Slimak announced the 43-game 2019 Cal Lutheran Baseball schedule, Friday afternoon. International competition against CETYS of Mexico and the Cactus Classis in Tucson, Ariz. highlight preseason before the Kingsmen rematch SCIAC competition looking to reassume the conference throne.
The Kingsmen finished 2018 with an 22-18 overall record, their 25th consecutive winning season under Slimak. The head coach additionally picked up his 700th win during the 2018 campaign, moving to a 710-341-8 lifetime record.
Cal Lutheran makes their season debut on January 19 in an exhibition contest against Providence Christian, an NAIA program from Pasadena, California. The Sea Beggars are coached by former Kingsmen outfielder Trevor Davidson who played for Cal Lutheran during the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Davidson is now in his third season with Providence Christian.
The team then continues its three-game exhibition stretch with their alumni match on January 26 followed by an international matchup against Centro de Enseñanza Técnica y Superior (CETYS) University from Tijuana, Mexico, on January 31.
"We don't know very much about CETYS, except that they're a good team from Mexico that is able to travel to the U.S. and try to play as many as games they can. It's an exhibition game for us, but I'm sure they'll also have a lot of good players," said Slimak, "When you're playing an international team, it gives you an idea of what you're expecting from your own team moving forward through the rest of the season."
From there, Cal Lutheran heads to Tucson, Arizona, for the Cactus Classic, playing a four-game set during the Feb 7-10 window. The Kingsmen face off against Division III competitors Texas-Dallas, Whitman, Piedmont and George Fox at the Kino Sports Complex, the former spring training site for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox.
"In Tuscon, we'll find out what our team is all about. It's early in the season, so you don't expect a lot, but you're always going to be very surprised. It all feathers out from there, because before you know it, you're jumping into conference."
And just like that, Cal Lutheran takes on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in an early conference series on February 22-23. The Kingsmen look to avenge their final loss of the 2018 season to the Stags that knocked the team out of playoff contention last year for the first time in program history under the helm of Slimak.
Moving on from the opening weekend of SCIAC play, Whitworth, Texas Lutheran, Greensboro, Drew and Ithaca make their way to Ullman Stadium to face Cal Lutheran in a six-game non-conference stretch to open the month of March. Last season, the Kingsmen finished 11-5 against non-conference opponents, outscoring their competition 148-87.
Then it's back to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference competition against Chapman, Pomona-Pitzer and Caltech for the remaining weekends in March. Intertwined in the schedule, the Kingsmen face off against Puget Sound on March 18, New Rochelle of New York on the 26th and MIT on the 28th.
"The toughest stretch of the schedule will be towards the end with La Verne, Linfield, Redlands, Occidental and Whitter. And usually that's when we are playing our better ball and I'd rather us be our strongest at the end."
Cal Lutheran begins this mentioned stretch on Friday, April 5, against La Verne and close out their regular season on Saturday, May 4, with senior day versus Whittier. However, it all comes down to the SCIAC Tournament the following weekend, May 10-12. The winning team is crowned both conference champions and earns an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III Postseason Tournament.
Full Schedule: Kingsmen Baseball 2019 Schedule
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director