NEW YORK – Columbia head baseball coach Brett Boretti has announced the Lions’ 2017 schedule. The slate opens up with a three-game series at Florida from March 3-5 to open a gauntlet of five straight weekends facing teams that reached the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

"This is by far our most challenging early schedule we have put together," said Boretti. "We open up with five teams that reached NCAA Regionals last spring and then go on the road to face a much improved Penn State program. It's exciting to play the best possible schedule year in and year out and take our team to the some of the toughest places to play in the country."

Following their weekend at Gainesville, the Lions head to Mississippi State (March 10-12), where they will take on the Bulldogs twice and face South Alabama a pair of times. From there, the Lions will take a trip down Interstate-59 from Starkville to Hattiesburg for a brief two-game set with Southern Mississippi (March 14-15) and will wrap up spring break with three games at Tulane (March 17-19).

Columbia returns to the northeast the following weekend for four ballgames at Penn State (March 24-26) before debuting at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium to kick off Ivy League play.

The Lions begin the conference portion of the schedule with doubleheaders against Harvard (April 1) and Dartmouth (April 2). Columbia will welcome Cornell (April 15-16) and Penn (April 28) to Manhattan and travel to Yale (April 8), Brown (April 9), Princeton (April 22-23) and Penn (April 29) to round out Ivy League play.

The remainder of the non-conference schedule includes dates at St. John’s (April 5), against Monmouth (April 11) and at Rutgers (April 26).

The Ivy League Championship series is slated for May 6-7 for the winners of the Lou Gehrig and Red Rolfe Division.