FROM CBB NEWS SOURCE
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland baseball team released its 2011 schedule and it includes a typically difficult conference slate in addition to an opening weekend against annual powerhouse Texas.
The Terps, whose class of 22 newcomers was ranked in the top 25 by Baseball America, open the season with a four-game set at Texas. The Longhorns played host to a Super Regional last season and finished runner-up at the 2009 College World Series.
Maryland and Texas will open the season on Feb. 18, play a doubleheader Feb. 19 and conclude the series on the 20th. For head coach Erik Bakich, the trip represents his philosophy of playing a top-tier opponent on the road on opening weekend.
“Not only are we diving into the fire with a great opponent, but we’re doing it on the road,” said Bakich. “There isn’t better preparation for the ACC than playing a perennial powerhouse like Texas.
“You could be the 1927 Yankees and it would still be a challenge to play at Texas. It’s a great opportunity and we’ll find out quickly what this team is about. It will be a great experience for the new guys to learn more about themselves. I think if all of our players could choose to play any team in the country to prove their metal and show what they have, Texas would be near the top of that list.”
After opening weekend, Maryland returns to College Park for a nine-game homestand. The home opener is against Navy on Feb. 23, and the Terps play three-game sets with Army and Canisius Feb. 25-27 and March 4-6, respectively. Maryland concludes the homestand with a game against Delaware on Tuesday, March 8.
The Terps then open conference play March 11-13 at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are one of eight ACC opponents that made the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
“That’s why you sign up for this conference. It’s a man-maker conference. It shows no mercy. That’s why you have to recruit the best of the best – because we’re playing the best.”
Following the ACC opener, Maryland has a seven-game homestand. Liberty comes to town for a two-game set on March 15-16 before Boston College visits March 18-20. The Terps conclude the homestand with single games against George Washington on March 22 and 2010 NCAA Tournament participant St. John’s on March 23.
The difficult ACC slate continues as Maryland’s next three weekend opponents hosted Super Regionals in 2010. The Terps play at Virginia March 25-27, at home against Florida State April 1-3 and at Clemson April 8-10.
Following that, the Terps play host to 2010 Super Regional participant Miami April 15-17 and welcome Virginia Tech April 22-24. The Hokies were also participants in the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Maryland’s last three conference opponents are NC State, North Carolina and Wake Forest, with the series against the Wolfpack and the Tar Heels both being on the road. The Terps close the season at home with the Demon Deacons from May 19-21.
The ACC Championship will be held May 25-29.
Fans’ first chance to see the Terrapins in action comes in a little over a week at the Red & Black Super Regional, an intra-squad scrimmage designed like a conference weekend, which is the pinnacle of the fall training. It will be held Oct. 29-31, with game times at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon Sunday.