FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
LOS ANGELES – UCLA will open its first Pac-12 baseball season with consecutive weekends of non-conference series against Maryland, Baylor, Sacramento State and Georgia, in addition to playing 10 conference teams during a 56-game regular-season schedule in 2012.
Defending Pac-12 champion UCLA opens the season with a three-game series at home versus Maryland on Friday, Feb. 17. The Bruins’ 2012 campaign will feature 25 games against teams that advanced to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The schedule includes 32 home games, 23 road games and one neutral site contest.
“We look forward to playing an outstanding schedule in 2012,” eighth-year head coach John Savage said. “We’re excited about our non-conference games as well as playing in the Pac-12. We will play at home during nine of the season’s 15 weekends, giving our fans a great opportunity to see the Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium.”
The Bruins will face Maryland for the first time in program history, will make their first visits to Georgia (March 9-11) and Utah (March 30-April 1) and will play their first-ever three-game series against Baylor.
For the third consecutive season, UCLA will face USC at Dodger Stadium in a non-conference game. Due to field maintenance at Dodger Stadium, UCLA and USC have been forced to shift their game to a Tuesday evening (March 13). Pepperdine and UC Irvine will play at 2 p.m., while UCLA and USC will take the field at 7 p.m.
“We have received fantastic crowds at Dodger Stadium the last two seasons, with more than 14,000 fans at the ballpark in 2010,” Savage said. “We are grateful for the opportunity to play USC at Dodger Stadium again this season. We want the fans of Los Angeles to come out and support the Bruins under the lights at Chavez Ravine.”
UCLA opens its first season in the Pac-12 hosting a three-game series against Arizona State (March 16-18). The Bruins’ other home Pac-12 weekends include series against Washington State (March 23-25), Oregon (April 5-7), Stanford (April 27-29) and USC (May 25-27).
UCLA’s Pac-12 road slate includes trips to Utah (March 30-April 1), Arizona (April 13-15), Oregon State (April 20-22), Washington (May 11-13) and California (May 18-20). The Bruins have played nine games in their history against Utah, with none of those contests taking place in Salt Lake City.
Midweek contests include two games each against Cal State Northridge, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and UC Irvine. The Bruins will play one midweek game against Pepperdine, UC Riverside and USC.
The Bruins’ last six schedules have been ranked among the top-five-most difficult in the country, as ranked by Boyd’s World (strength of schedule ranking service, boydsworld.com). UCLA’s schedule was ranked No. 1 in 2006 and 2010, No. 2 in 2007, No. 3 in 2008 and 2009, and No. 5 in 2011.