FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
LEXINGTON, Va.- The VMI baseball program and head coach Marlin Ikenberry have announced their 2009 schedule, one that includes a season-opening, three-game series at North Carolina’s new Bryson Field at Boshamer Stadium on Feb. 20-22.
Also included among the 53-game schedule, which includes 27 home dates, are trips to take on in-state rivals Virginia (March 3), Richmond (Feb. 25), Virginia Tech (March 17), VCU (March 31), James Madison (April 14), Old Dominion (April 21) and William & Mary (April 28). Highlights of the home schedule include visits from Old Dominion (Feb. 24), William & Mary (March 4), Virginia Tech (March 18), Richmond (March 24), VCU (April 7) and James Madison (April 29).
In Big South play, the Keydets are slated for five series on the road and four at home. VMI will make trips to first-year Big South member Presbyterian (March 13-15), Charleston Southern (March 27-28), Radford (April 17-19), Winthrop (April 24-26) and Coastal Carolina (May 9-11). Making the trip to Gray-Minor Stadium this season will be League foes UNC Asheville (March 20-22), Liberty (April 3-5), Gardner-Webb (April 10-11) and High Point (May 14-16).
The Keydets begin the 2009 campaign in Chapel Hill, N.C., as the Tarheels, fresh off their third-consecutive appearance in Omaha, will dedicate their revamped facility on Friday, Feb. 20. The three-game set against the Tarheels will mark VMI’s first such series against an ACC team since opening the 2005 campaign at Florida State.
The following Tuesday, Old Dominion comes to town for VMI’s home opener, a 3 p.m. date on Feb. 24. After traveling to Richmond the next day, the Keydets return home to welcome Youngstown State to Gray-Minor Stadium for a three-game set, including a doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 28. The next day, Bucknell pays a visit to Patchin Field to wrap up the weekend’s play.
On the next Tuesday, VMI will take on their second ACC opponent of the season, traveling to Charlottesville to play Virginia in a 4 p.m. tilt. The Keydets then return home for their next four games, playing William & Mary and Rider, before hitting the road for a five-game stretch. After playing at Norfolk State, the Keydets head south to Clinton, S.C. to begin Big South play against Presbyterian.
The following week presents an interesting opportunity for the Keydets, as they play a home-and-home series against Virginia Tech. The teams will play at English Field on March 17, before the teams travel north to Lexington on March 18 to renew acquaintances at Gray-Minor Stadium.
That contest at home against the Hokies begins a run of 12 of 16 games at home for the Keydets over a three-week span, with only trips to Charleston Southern and VCU interrupting the string. Following that stretch, the Keydets will then hit the road consistently for the following month, playing 12 of their next 15 contests away from the friendly confines. Included in the road swing are trips to Radford, Winthrop and Coastal Carolina. The team wraps up its regular season at home, playing host to High Point in a three-game set.
The 2009 Big South Baseball Championship will be held in Asheville, N.C. on May 19-23. The tournament will take place at McCormick Field, home of the Single-A Asheville Tourists, and will be hosted by UNC Asheville.
The Keydets are coming off their third-straight winning season, the first such run by a VMI hardball team in 52 years. The squad went 29-26 overall in 2008, and its 14-7 Big South record tied the team for second in the League standings.