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Rick Heller: 'We put ourselves in a position to control our own destiny, & we didn't get it done' Dargan Southard, msouthard@gannett.com

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Although Iowa baseball fell short of its third regional appearance in four years, the Hawkeyes remained in position for an at-large bid most of the way.

Those spots are coveted — especially for Big Ten squads — and how a team’s schedule unfolds throughout the year is one of the biggest factors in the at-large race. Wins are necessary, but scheduling metrics help if the teams you beat also perform well.

Heading into year six under coach Rick Heller, hunting regional bids remains one of Iowa's primary goals. The Hawkeyes released their 2019 schedule Monday, which the program hopes to provide enough opportunities for an at-large resume.

Iowa has 12 games against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams — all on the road. Such contests included three-game series at Oklahoma State (March 1-3), Indiana (March 22-24), Purdue (April 12-14) and Ohio State (April 26-28).

In addition, Iowa will get Maryland (May 16-18) on the road in Big Ten play and host Illinois (March 29-31), Rutgers (April 5-7), Nebraska (April 19-21) and Michigan State (May 10-12).

There’s a heavy west coast flavor to Iowa’s non-conference portion. After opening the year with the Diamond 9 Sunshine State Classic Series (Feb. 15-17) in Kissimmee, Florida, the Hawkeyes will play four at Hawaii (Feb. 22-24). The Hawkeyes also will host Cal State Northridge (March 15-17) and UC Irvine (May 3-5).

Iowa baseball's 2019 schedule

Feb. 15 — George Mason (Diamond 9 in Kissimmee, Fla.)

Feb. 16 — Pittsburgh (Diamond 9 in Kissimmee, Fla.)

Feb. 17 — Marshall (Diamond 9 in Kissimmee, Fla.)

Feb. 22-24 — @ Hawaii

March 1-3 — @ Oklahoma State

March 6 — TBA

March 8-10 — @ Evansville

March 12 — Illinois-Chicago

March 15-17 — Cal State Northridge

March 20 — Chicago State

March 22-24 — @ Indiana

March 26 — Bradley

March 29-31 — Illinois

April 2 — Grand View

April 5-7 — Rutgers

April 10 — @ Bradley

April 12-14 — @ Purdue

April 16 — Northern Illinois

April 19-21 — Nebraska

April 23 — Milwaukee

April 26-28 — @ Ohio State

April 30 — Western Illinois

May 1 — Northwestern (Rosemont, Ill.)

May 3-5 — UC Irvine

May 10-12 — Michigan State

May 14 — @ Western Illinois

May 16-18 — @ Maryland

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

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