RUSTON - Coming off a 34-win season, Louisiana Tech's 2012 schedule is highlighted by games against seven teams that made an appearance in last year's NCAA Tournament.
Head coach Wade Simoneaux and the Bulldogs will play a total of 56 games with 14 coming against postseason teams from a year ago. LA Tech has series scheduled against Vanderbilt, Arkansas, UALR, Creighton, Dallas Baptist, Oral Roberts and Fresno State, all teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season.
"Our team will be battle tested by the team we get to conference play," Simoneaux said. "We have a tough non-conference road schedule against teams that can really exploit our weaknesses. We want to find out where we stand prior to WAC play."
Louisiana Tech begins its season on the road Feb. 17-19, playing three games against the University of Texas at Arlington. Tech returns for their home opener on Feb. 22 to host defending Sun Belt Conference champion UALR.
The Bulldogs will get arguably their toughest test of the season Feb. 29 when they travel to face nationally-ranked Vanderbilt for a game. The Commodores finished the 2011 season with the most wins in school history, 54, and were one of eight teams that advanced to the College World Series.
Another highlight of Louisiana Tech's slate will come March 14 when it travels to Ameritrade Park, home of the College World Series, for a game against defending Missouri Valley Conference champion Creighton.
Following the Creighton game, Tech travels to Lincoln to face former major league star Darin Erstad and the Nebraska Cornhuskers in a four-game series. Erstad is in his first season as the head coach at Nebraska after a stellar major league career that saw him play 14 years with Anaheim Angels, Chicago White Sox and Houston Astros.
The Bulldogs will host future WAC member Dallas Baptist for a three-game series beginning on March 23. Dallas Baptist finished the 2011 season ranked ninth in the nation in home runs and advanced to the Super Regionals of the NCAA Tournament.
Tech travels for a single game against SEC foe Arkansas in Little Rock on May 15.
Louisiana Tech begins conference play April 6 when they host Sacramento State for a three-game series. Tech also hosts WAC series against Hawaii (April 26-28) and San Jose State (May 4-6). The Bulldogs road conference series include Nevada (April 13-15), New Mexico State (April 19-21) and defending champion Fresno State (May 18-20).
The conference tournament begins on May 23 in Mesa, Arizona.
Tech returns 15 letter winners and welcomes 18 new players. The Bulldogs only have three seniors on the team. Louisiana Tech lost six seniors to graduation and three juniors to the MLB Draft. The 34 wins were the most for a Tech team since the 2007 season.
Bulldog fans can get an opportunity to watch the team in the Fall World Series as the five-game series starts on Friday Oct. 28 at 6 p.m.