FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University baseball team opens the 2012 season with a home series against Army, the first of 32 home games this season for the Panthers. For the first time in school history, HPU will host the 2012 Big South Championship at Williard Stadium May 22-26.
“The 2012 schedule will be a tremendous challenge for this year’s team,” said HPU head coach Craig Cozart. “We will play a challenging non-conference schedule, facing teams from the ACC, Conference USA, Southern Conference and Atlantic 10. As always the Big South portion of the schedule will be a great measuring stick of how far the program has come in the past four years. We are very excited to announce we will be hosting the Big South Championship this year. It will be a fantastic opportunity for our players and fans to experience a great tournament atmosphere.”
The season kicks off on Feb. 17 when Army comes to HPU for a weekend series. The Panthers will play 17 of the first 18 games at Williard Stadium this season. The lone road game in that stretch is at Wake Forest on Feb. 22. HPU will get its first true road test March 16-18 when the Panthers travel to Columbia, Mo. for series at Missouri.
Big South Conference action begins March 23 with the Panthers at Charleston Southern. HPU will also travel to Coastal Carolina April 20-22, Liberty May 11-13 and Winthrop May 17-19 for league series.
VMI will come to High Point March 30-April 1 for the first home conference series. Also visiting Williard Stadium this season will be Radford on April 6-7, Presbyterian College on April 13-15 and UNC Asheville on May 4-6.
High Point will play 12 games against six different teams who participated in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, including weekend series with Coastal Carolina and Manhattan, home and home series with Charlotte and East Carolina and trips to Virginia and North Carolina.
The Panthers will also play midweek home and home series with Wake Forest, Duke, Appalachian State and Elon.
Williard Stadium will be the site of the 2012 Big South Conference Baseball Championship for the first time beginning May 22. This will be the first year the Big South uses an eight-team, double elimination format starting on Tuesday, with a single elimination championship game on Saturday.
The Panthers welcome 21 newcomers to the 2012 roster along with 15 returning players. The recruiting class, including nine junior college transfers, was ranked among the best in the country by Collegiate Baseball. Pitchers Jon Carlson (Rolling Meadows, Ill./Rolling Meadows (Parkland)) and Malcolm Clapsaddle (Geneva, Fla./Oviedo (Santa Fe)) joined the Panthers after being named NJCAA All-Americans last season. HPU also returns 2009 All-Conference pitcher Jaime Schultz (Castleton, N.Y./Maple Hill) as well as junior outfielder Ryan Retz (Tucson, Ariz./Canyon Del Oro (Pima)) and seniors Nick Schumacher (Charleston, W.V./Charleston Catholic) and Sal Pezzino (South Huntington, N.Y./Walt Whitman).