FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
MALIBU, Calif. – Baseball today announced the 2012 schedule, which is highlighted by a number of top programs coming to Eddy D. Field, as well as the first official year of BYU as a West Coast Conference foe.
The 2012 season kicks off on Feb. 17 as the Waves host a three-game set against 2010 College World Series participant Oklahoma. The Sooners will be a test for the Waves right off the bat, as they saw success in 2011, finishing the season with a 41-19 record and earning a spot in the Fort Worth Regional.
“Our non-conference schedule will be a real test for our guys and I am excited to see how they are going to rise to the occasion,” said Head Coach Steve Rodriguez. “We really try to find the best opponents from all over the country and really challenge our guys by having some really quality teams come to Malibu. It should make for some exciting weekends.”
The Waves will remain at home for six more games to start the season, including two midweek contests against Virginia Commonwealth, and a weekend series against Fresno State. The Bulldogs were 40-16 in 2011, earning a trip to the Los Angeles NCAA Regional but saw their season come to an end at the hands of UCLA, also a 2012 opponent for the Waves.
After a midweek clash with USC to close out the month of February, the Waves will hit the road for the first time, heading east for a three-game road trip to Louisville. The Cardinals were 32-29 last season and made a run to the Big East Tournament semifinals. The Waves will be looking for redemption after dropping three to then-No. 20 Louisville at home last season.
Other non-conference opponents of note include, 2011 College World Series participant Texas A&M, the University of Rhode Island, which last faced the Waves in the 2005 Long Beach NCAA Regional and the usual midweek contests against top Southern California teams from the Pac-12 and Big West.
The Waves open up WCC play at Gonzaga March 30. After a home series against Portland and two away series at St. Mary’s and Santa Clara in April, the Waves head into the crucial home stretch of the season. May opens with a home series against 2011 WCC champion San Francisco and newest WCC member BYU on consecutive weekends. The team then finishes up the conference slate with a road series against PCH Cup rival Loyola Marymount and a home series against San Diego.
Coach Rodriguez exudes optimism heading into the season, stating “This season’s team looks like one that really can compete. I am excited to see how they react to this.”