FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan baseball program and head coach Rich Maloney announced Thursday (Oct. 6) the team’s 2012 schedule that features 21 games at the Wilpon Complex/Ray Fisher Stadium, tournaments in March at LSU and Coastal Carolina, and a three-game home series against Big Ten newcomer Nebraska in May.
The 2012 season opens on Friday, Feb. 17, against Pittsburgh at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. The Wolverines and Panthers will play at 7:30 p.m. at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla. Michigan also has games against Seton Hall (Saturday, Feb. 18) and West Virginia (Sunday, Feb. 19) in the Challenge.
The Maize and Blue will spend time in the Sunshine State for its annual Spring Break trip. Michigan will play Iona in a four-game series Feb. 24-26 in Port St. Lucie, Fla., the Spring Training home of the New York Mets. Michigan will then play at Florida Gulf Coast Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 6:30 p.m., before finishing the trip March 2-4 with four games at Port Charlotte, Fla., the Spring Training home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Michigan will have its only game against Big Ten rival Ohio State in Port Charlotte Friday, March 2, at 6 p.m. The Wolverines also play Chicago State once and Xavier twice in Florida.
Michigan then heads to Baton Rouge, La., and Alex Box Stadium March 9-11 for two games against the LSU Tigers and two against Notre Dame. The season-opening, 19-game road trip concludes in South Carolina, as Michigan plays in the Coastal Carolina Tournament March 16-18. Michigan will face the Chanticleers twice on campus and UAB and Connecticut once apiece at BB&T Coastal Field, which is the home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, the Single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Coastal Carolina advanced to the NCAA Clemson Regional last season, while Connecticut won the Clemson Regional and played in the Columbia Super Regional in 2011.
“I am excited to play another competitive schedule,” Maloney said. “We are competing against several outstanding teams. We are going to playing LSU this year in Alex Box Stadium, where they have great crowds every night. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for our kids to experience an atmosphere like that. We have the opportunity to play Coastal Carolina again, but this time we will play them twice in their tournament and twice in our venue, which is really big for our program because we don’t really have that many opportunities to play warm weather teams in our facility. It’s a great opportunity for our fans to see a great team on our campus.”
The home schedule will begin with a three-game series against IPFW March 23-25 at the Wilpon Complex, home of Ray Fisher Stadium. The non-conference home schedule is highlighted by the two-game midweek series against Coastal Carolina May 8-9. Both games are 6:05 p.m. starts.
The Big Ten schedule begins March 30-April 1 at Minnesota in the Metrodome. The home conference slate starts Friday, April 6, against Michigan State at 5:35 p.m. Michigan hosts MSU Friday and Sunday with Saturday’s game in East Lansing.
Michigan also has home Big Ten series against Northwestern and Indiana before ending the year with a three-game series against Big Ten newcomer Nebraska May 17-19. Besides Minnesota, Michigan travels to Penn State, Iowa and Purdue for Big Ten contests. U-M does not play Ohio State or Illinois in Big Ten play.
“We will be playing Nebraska for the first time on our home field in the last weekend series, and that’s a big deal for our program,” Maloney continued. “We have our normal rivalries within the Big Ten, which are always good, highlighted by the two games against Michigan State at home. Since Ohio State is off the Big Ten schedule, we’ve scheduled them in Florida in Port Charlotte in a Friday evening game, winner-take-all, one-game showdown. It’s good to keep the rivalry intact.
“We’re excited. It’s going to be a challenging schedule. It gives our kids the opportunity to play at great venues. It’s another great slate of games and we’ll be tested. Hope the fans will come out and support our team when we get back here at the Wilpon Baseball Complex.”
The conference season culminates with the six-team Big Ten Tournament, which will be held May 23-26 at Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio.