AUSTIN, Texas — To beat the best, you have to play the best.
The Texas baseball team will get a taste of that this spring, as it was announced Thursday that the Horns will take part in the inaugural State Farm College Baseball Showdown, which will be played February 19-21 and feature six of D1Baseball's top 10 teams. In addition to Texas, TCU and Texas Tech will represent the Big 12, while the Southeastern Conference will be represented by Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas.
The event, which is played with a round-robin type format, will be contested in the Texas Rangers' new stadium, Globe Life Field in Arlington, which also hosted the 2020 World Series.
Head coach David Pierce's squad will be challenged for three days straight, as the Horns will face No. 7 Mississippi State Friday, No. 8 Arkansas Saturday and No. 6 Ole Miss to cap it off Sunday.
"When we got this opportunity, it was something we jumped on, and also something that we would like to continue to do throughout the years," Pierce said on a conference call with members of the media. "We're really honored that we were a part of this inaugural year. It's what we need right now, and it's going to be exciting."
In addition, the Big 12 announced its conference baseball schedule Friday. With a 24-game slate, the Longhorns open the Big 12 slate with a three-game series at Baylor, from March 19-21. A weekend series the following week against Oklahoma will be UT's first conference home games on the season. Then it is back on the road for a trip to the Sunflower State, as Kansas hosts Texas April 1-3, before Kansas State rolls in Austin the following weekend of April 9-11.
Another road trip north highlights UT's schedule, as the Horns will play for the first time in Oklahoma State's brand-new ballpark, O'Brate Stadium, April 23-25. In a key series, Texas Tech, which begins the season ranked No. 3 in D1Baseball's poll, faces Texas on the Forty Acres April 30-May 2. Another critical road series at TCU, ranked No. 10 by D1Baseball, will take place May 7-9. In their final series of the season, the Longhorns will host West Virginia, concluding the regular season slate on May 22.
Prior to conference play, and throughout the Big 12 schedule, Texas will battle several opponents in non-conference action.
Though the non-conference schedule has not been formally announced by the program, BYU has posted on its online schedule that the Cougars will play at Texas Feb. 24-27, Texas A&M has posted that the Aggies will host Texas March 30 and the University of Nevada has posted on its schedule that the Wolf Pack will visit the Longhorns for a two-game midweek series set for April 13-14.
Texas will visit Texas State in a similar midweek battle April 20. The first pitch of that contest is set for 6 p.m.