FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
BOONE, N.C. — Twenty-nine games at Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium and a trip to one of college baseball’s most famed venues highlight Appalachian State University’s 2012 baseball schedule, which was announced by head coach Chris Pollard on Thursday.
Coming off its fifth-straight 30-win season, Appalachian will play 29 of its 56 regular-season games in the friendly confines of Smith Stadium in 2012. ASU posted a 17-10 record at Smith Stadium in 2011 and is 69-39-1 (.638) at the state-of-the-art facility since it opened in 2007.
For the third time in four seasons, the Mountaineers open the campaign by hosting a series at McNair Field in Forest City, as they welcome St. Peter’s to North Carolina for a three-game set, February 17-19.
The following weekend (February 24-26), Appalachian travels to Baton Rouge, La. for a three-game series versus six-time national champion LSU. ASU has enjoyed recent success versus the powerful Southeastern Conference, with three wins in its last five meetings versus SEC clubs. However, the matchups are the Mountaineers’ first against perhaps the SEC’s most tradition-laden program in LSU, as well as Appalachian’s first venture into Alex Box Stadium, where the Tigers have led the nation in average attendance 15 of the last 16 years. Since “The Box” was rebuilt in 2009, LSU has averaged over 10,000 fans per game, including 10,556 in 2011.
The Mountaineers open their slate of 29 games at Smith Stadium on Friday, March 2, when they begin an eight-game homestand with a four-game weekend series versus Rider. The opening homestand also includes a mid-week visit from Atlantic Coast Conference foe Duke (March 7) and the first Southern Conference series of the season versus Davidson (March 9-11).
Other home series include SoCon sets versus The Citadel (March 16-18), College of Charleston (April 6-8), Furman (April 20-22) and UNCG (May 4-5) and non-conference tilts with Oakland (March 31-April 1) and Eastern Kentucky (April 17-18). The Mountaineers will also host traditional local rivals North Carolina A&T (March 27), High Point (April 24), ETSU (May 1) and Gardner-Webb (May 15) for mid-week non-conference matchups.
Besides the trip to LSU, the road portion of the schedule is headlined by a March 14 date at two-time-defending national champion South Carolina. SoCon road series include trips to Elon (March 23-25), Georgia Southern (April 13-15), Wofford (April 27-29), Samford (May 12-13) and Western Carolina (May 17-19). The Apps also travel to North Carolina A&T (February 28), Duke (March 13), High Point (March 20), ETSU (April 3) and Gardner-Webb (April 10) for the away portion of home-and-home series.
The 2012 Southern Conference Tournament is set for May 23-27 at Flour Field in Greenville, S.C.