NEW YORK – Head coach Brett Boretti unveiled the 2018 Columbia baseball schedule, beginning with a four-game series at UNLV from February 23-25 and featuring a new 21-game format in Ivy League play. As has become customary, the Lions will face tests against five teams that reached the NCAA Tournament in 2017.

After the Runnin’ Rebels, Columbia will face the University of South Florida for four games between March 2-4 in Tampa. Spring break will feature a trip to Texas where the Lions will take on UT-San Antonio from March 9-11. Midweek matchups atTexas A&M Corpus Christi (Mar. 13) and Rice (Mar. 14) follow before the trip concludes at Houston (Mar. 16-18). The last time the teams faced off in 2015, Columbia split a four-game series against the No. 6 Cougars to set the tone for its Ivy League Championship run.

“We take a lot of pride in how we schedule,” Boretti stated. “We are very excited about the challenges we have put together for 2018. Traveling to UNLV, USF and down into Texas for our first 17 games should prepare us well for the northern portion of our schedule.”

“I’m also very happy about the new three-game series format in Ivy League play. I think it’s a great change for our conference and for the players.”

The new Ancient Eight slate eliminates the two divisions within the league. The top-two regular season finishers will still compete in the Ivy League Championship Series (May 19-20), hosted by the conference’s top team. All three games of the series will be nine innings.

The Lions return north and will take on defending Ivy League Champs Yale at Robertson Field at Satow Stadium from March 24-25 for its Ancient Eight and home debut. Columbia remains home to renew acquaintances with Manhattan (Mar. 27) before Harvard comes to town (Mar. 31-Apr. 1). The eight-game homestand wraps up with St. John’s on April 4, one day before the anniversary of the Lions upsetting the then-ranked No. 4 Red Storm in Queens in 2017.

A seven-game road swing follows with trips to Dartmouth (Apr. 7-8), Monmouth (Apr. 11) and Brown (Apr. 14-15) on the docket. The Lions then have a mid-week with Fordham (Apr. 18) prior to a trio against Princeton (Apr. 21-22).

Columbia’s non-conference scheduled is rounded out by contests at Army (Apr. 24) and Rutgers (May 1). The Lions’ final two Ivy League series features Penn at home (Apr. 27-28) and Cornell (May 12-13) to finish the regular season.