FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Coming off its fourth straight NCAA Regional appearance, the Alabama baseball will play a total of 21 games during the 2012 season, against teams that advanced to the NCAA Baseball Tournament last season. Additionally, the 2012 Crimson Tide baseball schedule will include 34 collegiate baseball games at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
With an improvement in the strength of schedule for the 2012 season, Alabama’s schedule includes 26 games against 11 non-conference opponents that finished above .500 last season. When you throw the SEC schedule in the mix, only three teams on this year’s schedule finished below .500 in 2011. The Tide is scheduled to play 56 games in its upcoming season, with 31 of its games to be played at The Joe.
The Tide will host 16 of its 26 non-conference games, while five Southeastern Conference opponents, including 2011 College World Series participant Vanderbilt, will travel to Tuscaloosa to play a total of 15 games. The Tide will play 10 non-conference road games, while its 15 road SEC contests include a trip to 2010 and 2011 National Champions South Carolina, April 27-29.
The Tide begins the 2012 campaign Friday, Feb. 17-19, in Tuscaloosa with a three-game series against Florida Atlantic. The three games of the series are the first of seven home games to open the season, as Alabama hosts Arkansas Pine-Bluff for three games and South Alabama in a midweek outing to open the year. UA will travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., for a non-conference game against Southern Mississippi on Feb. 29, before traveling to New Orleans, La., to play Tulane for a three-game set, March 2-4.
The Capital City Classic will be played on March 6, when rivals Alabama and Auburn square-off at Riverwalk Stadium, the home of the Montgomery Biscuits, the Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, at 7 p.m. Following the Capital City Classic, Alabama will host a tournament that features Louisville, Oral Robert and East Carolina, March 9-11. In each of the last three years, at least three of the four schools have advanced to the NCAA Regionals. UA and Oral Roberts were in the NCAA Tournament field each of the last three years, while Louisville was in the tournament in 2009 and 2010 and East Carolina was a 2011 NCAA Tournament participant.
Immediately following the tournament, the Tide will host Southern Mississippi and Samford, before traveling to Fayetteville, Ark., to open SEC competition against the Razorbacks, March 16-18.
The 2012 SEC home opener for Alabama features the Mississippi Rebels, March 23-25, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. UA will also host Auburn (April 6-8), Vanderbilt (April 20-22), Mississippi State (May 4-6) and Georgia (May 17-19) during SEC play, as the series against Georgia wraps up the Tide’s regular season.
The conclusion of the 2012 season will be extremely challenging, as the Tide plays 13 of its final 17 regular season games against 2011 NCAA Regional squads.