WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – William and Mary Tribe head baseball coach Frank Leoni announced the 2012 schedule on Monday. The 56-game regular season schedule features 31 home games to be played at Plumeri Park in Williamsburg. Included in the slate are eight games against four teams who made the 2011 College World Series last year, including three against National Runner-Up Florida.
The season gets underway on February 17-19 when the College hosts the Rhode Island Rams for a three-game series at Plumeri Park. Following the three-game set with the Rams, the Tribe heads to Charlottesville to take on perennial ACC power Virginia on February 21. Last season, Virginia earned the No. 1-seed for the College World Series, making it all the way to Omaha.
The schedule doesn’t get any easier following the midweek game with the Cavaliers, as William and Mary will head south to take on the University of Florida on February 24-26. Last season, the Gators had a great year, earning National Runner-Up honors after falling in the CWS Championship Series to South Carolina.
Following the trip to Gainesville, the College returns home to Plumeri Park the next week to host four games. On February 28, the Tribe will play VMI before taking on New York Tech in a three game, weekend series on March 2-3 that includes a doubleheader on March 3.
William and Mary hits the road for a pair of midweek contests with VMI on March 6, before heading to Arlington, Virginia to battle the Colonials of George Washington on March 7. That weekend, the Tribe returns home to open CAA play against the Northeastern Huskies on March 9-11. Last year the Huskies placed ninth in the conference with an overall record of 18-33. In Boston last season, the College took two out of three from Northeastern.
On March 13-14, W&M will host Quinnipiac for a two-game, midweek series at Plumeri Park before heading to Harrisonburg, Virginia to take on defending CAA Champions James Madison on March 16-18. The Dukes won the conference last year with a record of 42-19 and won a game at the North Carolina regional before falling to the Tarheels.
The College continues its season-long eight game road trip the following week when it will play the Norfolk State Spartans on March 21. On March 23-25, the Tribe continues CAA play as it faces the George Mason Patriots in Fairfax, Virginia. The Green and Gold will look to duplicate what it did to Mason last season, when the College earned a three-game sweep over the Patriots in Williamsburg.
The long road trip comes to a close for William and Mary on March 27 when the squad will play at Richmond on March 27. Last year, W&M split its two games with the Spiders, with each team winning on the road. On March 30-April 1, the Towson Tigers come to town for a three-game set in Williamsburg. Playing in the final series of 2011, the Tribe took two of three from the Tigers in Baltimore.
On April 3, the Retrievers from UMBC come to Plumeri Park for a midweek contest. The following day, April 4, the Tribe will head to Farmville, Virginia to take on the Longwood Lancers. After the game with Longwood, the College hosts its second-consecutive CAA series on April 6-8 when the Delaware Blue Hens arrive in Williamsburg. UD will have revenge on its mind, as the Green and Gold won the tightly contested series in Newark a year ago.
With no midweek games scheduled, the Tribe will have five days off before they take on the always-dangerous Georgia State Panthers in Atlanta on April 13-15. In 2011, the Panthers came to Plumeri Park and won the series against the Tribe.
William and Mary will remain on the road the following week, starting with a game at College World Series participant East Carolina on April 18. That weekend, April 20-22, W&M heads to Richmond to face the VCU Rams, who won the CAA title in 2010. Last season, the Tribe took two of three from VCU at Plumeri Park.
After returning from Richmond, the Tribe begins a season long 10-game homestand in the friendly confines of Plumeri Park. The stretch begins on April 28 when the College will play a doubleheader against the Norfolk State Spartans. On May 4-6, W&M will host CAA-rival Old Dominion at Plumeri Park for a three-game CAA series. A year ago, the Tribe won the series against the Monarchs, taking two of three.
Four days after facing Old Dominion, the College will host its final conference series of the year when the UNC Wilmington Seahawks come to Williamsburg. In 2011, the Seahawks made it all the way to the championship game of the CAA Tournament before falling to James Madison.
The 10-game homestand come to an end the following week with a pair of non-conference contests. On May 14, the Tribe will face the Longwood Lancers before taking on the George Washington Colonials on May 15. The regular season come to a close on May 18-19, when W&M will head north to face the Hofstra Pride. The three-game set includes a doubleheader scheduled for May 18.
The 2012 CAA Championship returns to a six-team format this coming season, with the top-six teams earning bids. The tournament will once again be held in Wilmington, North Carolina, running from Mat 23-26.
The 2012 William and Mary Tribe baseball team returns 24 players from last year’s team that set a school record with seven CAA conference series wins. The Tribe played very well away from Plumeri Park in 2011, with its 12 road wins being the most for the College since the 2004 season. Of W&M’s seven CAA series wins, four of those came on the road at Old Dominion, at Delaware, at Northeastern, and at Towson.