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Iowa released its 2018 baseball schedule Monday, featuring 27 home games, two southern tournaments and four series against 2017 NCAA Tournament teams.

Highlighting the nonconference schedule is an intriguing late-season home series against Oklahoma State (May 4-6). The Cowboys — along with 2018 conference opponents Indiana, Michigan and Nebraska — were all regional teams a season ago.

The Hawkeyes kick things off on Feb. 16 against Toledo at the Diamond 9 Sunshine State Classic Series in Kissimmee, Florida, where Iowa will also face Oakland (Feb. 17) and Old Dominion (Feb. 18). The Hawkeyes will then travel to New Orleans for the Urban Invitational, where Rick Heller’s squad will battle Virginia Tech (Feb. 23), Ball State (Feb. 24) and New Orleans (Feb. 25).

After unexpectedly good weather allowed Iowa to play last season’s home opener on Feb. 22, the Hawkeyes will again try for a February home opener. Iowa will begin its Duane Banks Field slate on Feb. 27 against Cornell College before making back-to-back weekend road trips to UAB and UNLV.

The Hawkeyes’ home-opening series comes March 16-18 against Evansville. A midweek game against Saint Louis on March 20 marks Iowa’s final tune-up before conference play, which begins March 23-25 against Indiana at Duane Banks Field.

Along with the Hoosiers, the Hawkeyes will face Big 10 foes Ohio State (April 6-8), Michigan (April 27-29) and Penn State (May 17-19) at home, while traveling to Illinois (March 30-April 1), Nebraska (April 13-15), Minnesota (April 20-22) and Northwestern (May 11-13).

The 2018 Big Ten Tournament will be played at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska, while NCAA Regional play will take place from June 1-4. The Hawkeyes are coming off their first Big Ten Tournament title in school history and second NCAA Tournament appearance in three years.

Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.

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