FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – A season-opening, 13-game homestand and 30 games against teams that advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament highlight the 2010 Wake Forest baseball schedule, as announced by head coach Tom Walter on Thursday.
"Anytime you have a schedule where 30 of your 56 games are against NCAA Tournament participants from the year before, it’s obviously a very competitive schedule," Walter said. "Last year, the team had a lot of success in the non-league games. This year the key is to be more competitive in ACC games, with the first goal always being to make the ACC Tournament and the second goal being an NCAA Regional berth."
The Demon Deacons will play 31 games at Wake Forest Baseball Park in 2010, including the first 13 games of the season. The team’s first road game of 2010 does not come until March 9.
Wake opens the regular season on Friday, February 19, hosting 2009 Atlantic 10 regular season champion Dayton in the first game of a three-game series. The Deacs will also welcome in 2009 NCAA Tournament participants Kent State (February 26-28) and Xavier (March 5-7) for weekend series in the opening homestand. The series against the Golden Flashes and Musketeers will be four game sets, with single games Friday and Sunday and a Saturday doubleheader.
"The good part about opening up the season at home is getting into a comfort level and a routine with our young players," Walter said. "The early home games are certainly not going to be easy with teams such as Dayton, Coastal Carolina, Kent State, Winthrop and Xavier. We’ll need to be playing at a high level right out of the gate."
The Deacs will face a challenging midweek non-conference schedule in 2010. Wake Forest has home-and-home midweek games with 2009 NCAA Regional participants Coastal Carolina and Elon. The Demon Deacons also have home-and-home sets with Winthrop, High Point, Charlotte, UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State. Wake travels to UNC-Wilmington for a non-conference road game on March 10.
Wake Forest opens the 30-game Atlantic Coast Conference schedule at Georgia Tech March 12-14. Other ACC road series in 2010 include trips to Virginia Tech (March 26-28), Miami (April 2-4), Boston College (April 16-18) and North Carolina (May 7-9). Miami and Boston College each advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament, while North Carolina reached the College World Series.
Wake Forest’s first conference series at home is March 19-21 when in-state rival NC State visits Wake Forest Baseball Park. The Deacs will also welcome Florida State (April 9-11), Duke (April 23-25), Clemson (May 14-16) and Maryland (May 20-22) to Winston-Salem for home league series in 2010. Florida State and Clemson both advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals in 2009.
"The ACC schedule is very exciting for me," Walter said. "In the previous five years at New Orleans, we played a lot of SEC and Conference USA teams in the midweek, but we didn’t get to see those teams on the weekend. I’m certainly very excited about playing perennial top-20 teams on the weekends and being about to match our best pitchers up against theirs."
Virginia, a College World Series participant from 2009, rotates off the Wake Forest schedule for the next two seasons.
The 2010 ACC Baseball Tournament will be played May 26-30 in Greensboro, N.C., at NewBridge Bank Park, home of the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers.
The NCAA Tournament begins June 4 at campus sites throughout the country. The College World Series will be held June 19-30 at Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium.