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VMI releases 2011 Schedule

FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE

VMIPhoto LEXINGTON, Va. – VMI baseball has announced its 2011 schedule, a slate of games which includes a three-game, season-opening set at Florida State and a two-game series against Oregon State. The Keydets will take on five 2010 NCAA Regional teams in all, including Bucknell, Coastal Carolina and Virginia.

The Keydets will open the year in Tallahassee, Fla., taking on the Seminoles in a three-game weekend set Feb. 18-20. Florida State comes off a very strong year, one which saw them advance to the College World Series and lose only one game en route to Omaha. The Keydets have never beaten Florida State, going winless in 14 all-time meetings, the last of which came in 2005.

VMI will then return to Lexington for its home opener, a single game with William & Mary on Tuesday, Feb. 22, before traveling just up the road to Charlottesville to face the Virginia Cavaliers. That will mark the first meeting between the schools since last April 14, when the Keydets routed then-#1 Virginia 12-3 at Gray-Minor Stadium, marking VMI’s first win over a top-ranked opponent.

After taking on Virginia, the Keydets will have one of their longest stretches in Lexington of the year. Of the next nine games, eight will be in the friendly confines of Gray-Minor Stadium, beginning with a four-game series against Binghamton (Feb. 25-27).

VMI then goes to Richmond for a single game on March 1, only to return home for another four-game series and play host to the Bison of Bucknell University (March 4-6). VMI swept a three-game set from Bucknell last year, in a series that was played at Prince George High School in Prince George, Va., due to inclement weather. The Bison went on to enjoy a solid season, including advancing to Regional action.

A mid-week tilt with James Madison (March 8) ends the stay in Virginia and sends the Keydets on the road. VMI’s first of two eight-game 2011 road trips begins in Corvallis, Ore., as the Keydets participate in a three-team, round-robin tournament that will include New Mexico State and host Oregon State. The Beavers played in the Gainesville Regional in the 2010 postseason, going 1-2 and finishing in third place.

VMI is scheduled to play New Mexico State March 11 and 12, and take on Oregon State March 12 and 13 before traveling to Portland, Ore. to take on the University of Portland on Tuesday, March 15. The Keydets then fly back to the East Coast to open Big South play, taking on Winthrop in a three-game set in Rock Hill, S.C. March 18-20.
Single games against Longwood (Farmville, Va./March 22) and VCU (Home/March 23) precede a three-game Big South set at Presbyterian College, scheduled for March 25-27. The Keydets won both games in Clinton, S.C. in 2009, and had won six straight from the Blue Hose overall, until last year’s season-ending double-header loss at Gray-Minor Stadium. Regardless, VMI has not lost in Clinton since 1963.

The Keydets come home from Clinton for a five-game homestand, beginning with a March 30 non-conference game against Richmond. Gardner-Webb then comes in for a three-game weekend series, beginning April 1, before the Virginia Tech Hokies invade Gray-Minor Stadium on April 5. The Hokies’ last visit to Lexington was April 30, 2008, a game VMI won 8-7 when Shane Geisslinger walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, forcing in the winning run. Since then, Virginia Tech has won three straight meetings, all in Blacksburg.

Another eight-game road trip begins April 8, as the Keydets travel to Radford to begin a Big South weekend series. William & Mary is the next stop on the Keydet ledger (April 13), before another conference set, this one with Charleston Southern the weekend of April 15.

An April 19 date with VCU in Richmond concludes the trip, and sends the Keydets back to Lexington, where a three-game series with Liberty awaits, beginning on April 22. That series is currently scheduled to feature a double-header on Saturday, April 23, en lieu of a Sunday game.

As the regular season begins to wind down, the Dukes of James Madison come to Gray-Minor Stadium on April 26, and the Keydets play their final road conference series of the year, taking on perennial power Coastal Carolina April 28-30. A 10-day break between games sees VMI play seven of its final eight games at home, beginning with Longwood (May 11) and UNC Asheville (May 13-15). The road schedule ends with a single game at Virginia Tech (May 17), and the regular season concludes at home, as High Point comes to town May 19-21.

The Keydets, for the first time, will host the Big South Baseball Championships in 2011. The tournament is set to run May 24-29, and more information will be made available as the date approaches.