FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
BLACKSBURG, Va. - With 21 games on the 2012 schedule against teams that advanced to NCAA Baseball Championship and 14 of them on the road, which includes at 2011 College World Series participants Virginia and North Carolina, Virginia Tech baseball certainly has its work cut out for the upcoming season.
That is why Head Coach Pete Hughes used his first two baseball weekends to play in tournaments away from Blacksburg. The Hokies will open their season February 17-19 with four games at the Kennesaw State Tournament in Kennesaw, Ga. with two games each against Bradley and the host Owls. A week later (Feb. 24-26), they will play four more at the Baseball at the Beach Tournament in Conway, S.C. against George Mason, Iowa, West Virginia and the host Chanticleers.
“I like our schedule. I like the fact that we are going to play so many early games on the road,” Hughes said. “There is definitely a balance to our schedule, but also a degree of difficulty, because it gets us on the road. Because we are playing some tough teams on the road, we better be tough and learn how to travel and play good in different venues because that’s what’s going to dictate our season – how well we play on the road.”
Between a trip to High Point on Feb. 28 and opening the ACC schedule at Virginia (March 9-11), the Hokies will play a four-game series against Yale at English Field, with their home opener a scheduled doubleheader against the Bulldogs on Saturday, March 3 starting at 1 p.m.
“I’m really looking forward to those four-game series on the weekends and I think that couldn’t have worked out better for where we are as a pitching staff and at the positions,” Hughes said. “We are going to have so many guys competing for a job. I couldn’t even tell you who our weekend starters are going to be.
“Now, we can put four guys out there who are going to have an opportunity to find out who is going to be the Friday, Saturday, Sunday guys. I’m really excited about the depth of our program and those first few weekends are going to be the key to figure out what roles our guys are going to take on and then we’re off and running.”
The Hokies also will play at Georgia Tech (March 16-18), at James Madison (March 27), at Florida State (March 30-April 1) and at North Carolina (May 17-19), while welcoming Miami (April 13-15), Coastal Carolina (April 17) and N.C. State (May 11-13) – teams that all made the NCAAs in 2011 – to English Field.
“The flipside of the conference cycle has us playing at some very difficult places, which two years ago was a great challenge for our program and we responded to it and it made us a tougher team,” Hughes said. “This year’s schedule is going to do the same thing – at UVA, at Georgia Tech, at Florida State, at UNC – those are some difficult venues to play, but like I said, that’s an opportunity for our team to become more competitive and tougher and I am looking forward to that challenge.”
Tech will host Cornell (March 20-21) before its ACC home opener against Duke (March 23-25). Highlighting the Hokies 30-game home slate is the first visit to English Field by the Chants as well as Wagner (March 14) and Wofford (April 3-4). Boston College (April 6-8) and Maryland (April 27-29) round out the home ACC slate for Tech.
The 2012 ACC Tournament will take place May 23-27 in Greensboro, N.C. The five-day tournament will be held at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C.
The entire 2012 Virginia Tech baseball schedule can be seen here.