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Georgia releases 2012 Schedule

ATHENS—-The Georgia Bulldog baseball team will have the luxury of 37 home games in 2012 after spending a majority of last year on the road with the nation’s toughest schedule.

The college baseball season begins Feb. 17, and Georgia will start with a three-game series against Presbyterian College. The Bulldogs open the season with an eight-game home stand and will play 21 of their first 22 games at Foley Field. Georgia’s lone road game in this stretch will be at Western Carolina for a single game on February 29.

Georgia’s early season home slate is highlighted by a three-game set with UCLA (March 9-11) and the Southeastern Conference opening series with Tennessee (March 16-18). The rest of the SEC home schedule features series with Kentucky (March 30-April 1), Ole Miss (April 13-15), Auburn (May 4-6) and defending national champion South Carolina (May 11-13).

“We’ve got an opportunity to build some early momentum by playing at home and hopefully get off to a fast start,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “I’m not concerned with this team’s ability to perform on the road because we have a veteran team and they know what it’s like to play a difficult schedule away from home.”

Georgia baseball season tickets go on sale Nov. 15. Fans can order online through www.georgiadogs.com or by calling 877-542-1231.

Georgia’s SEC road series will be at Vanderbilt (March 23-25), Arkansas (April 6-8), Florida (April 20-22), LSU (April 27-29) and then will finish the regular season at Alabama (May 17-19). Also, the Bulldogs will play their annual three-game set with Georgia Tech, featuring the on-campus games and the series finale at Turner Field in Atlanta plus a two-game set with Clemson.

In 2011, Georgia navigated the nation’s toughest rated schedule that included 37 road games and only 28 contests at Foley Field. The Bulldogs ended the year 33-32 with a No. 16 final RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) after advancing to the final of the NCAA Corvallis (Ore.) Regional. Georgia wound up with the fourth best league record at 16-14 behind fellow East rivals South Carolina, CWS finalist Florida and No. 3 Vanderbilt.

Georgia welcomes back 23 returning lettermen including eight starting position players and 11 pitchers who saw action in 2011. The lineup will feature the leading hitters from a year ago in senior second baseman Levi Hyams (.332-5-38) and junior shortstop Kyle Farmer (.308-8-58). Also, they helped the Bulldogs set a school record .974 fielding percentage. On the mound, Georgia returns its top two starters in senior right-hander Michael Palazzone (10-5, 3.14 ERA) and redshirt-sophomore Alex Wood (6-7, 4.44 ERA). A majority of the bullpen is back including junior closer Tyler Maloof who ranked third nationally with 18 saves.

Georgia begins fall practice Monday, Sept. 19. The annual Dogs versus Pups game tentatively is set for Tuesday, Oct. 4. Fall practice will end with the Red-Black seven-game series slated from Oct. 15-25.

Full 2011 Georgia Baseball Schedule