FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
LEXINGTON, Va. – VMI baseball has announced its 2012 schedule, according to information released by the program Wednesday. For the second straight year, the Keydets will open the season with a marquee three-game set, as VMI travels to Columbia, S.C. to take on the two-time defending NCAA Champion South Carolina Gamecocks.
The three-game series, set for Feb. 17-19, marks a trio of the nine games VMI will play against teams that advanced to Regional play in 2011. VMI will also take on Virginia (March 21 at Virginia), Coastal Carolina (April 13-15 at Coastal) and James Madison (April 25 at home, May 1 at JMU). Both Virginia and South Carolina advanced to the College World Series.
After taking on the Gamecocks, VMI heads home for its opener at Gray-Minor Stadium, a Feb. 21 date with Longwood. The Keydets face the Richmond Spiders a day later, before welcoming Lafayette to Lexington for a three-game set that weekend, Feb. 24-26. Coach Marlin Ikenberry’s team then wraps up February with a trip to Williamsburg, Va., to take on the William & Mary Tribe on Feb. 28. Last season’s Keydets/Tribe game in Williamsburg was a memorable one for VMI, as the Keydets won 5-1 for their first-ever triumph at Plumeri Park.
March begins with a seven-game homestand, as Hartford (March 2-4), William & Mary (March 6) and Youngstown State (March 9-11) all enter Gray-Minor Stadium before the Keydets hit the road for six straight away from the friendly confines. Old Dominion will be VMI’s first opponent, with the two teams will play a pair of games (March 13-14). The second of those contests will be played at War Memorial Stadium in Newport News, Va.
The trip continues with the Keydets’ first Big South action, a three-game series with UNC Asheville (March 16-18), before the Keydets go to Charlottesville, Va. to take on the Virginia Cavaliers. In last year’s meeting, Coby Cowgill allowed just one run through the first six innings, before UVA touched him for a seventh-inning score and got to the Keydet bullpen in the eighth to eake out a 4-3 win.
The Keydets are home again March 23-25, taking on Presbyterian College, and also host Old Dominion on March 27 before heading to the site of this year’s Big South Tournament, High Point, N.C., for a three-game series with the host Panthers (March 30-April 1). Three more home games follow, as Richmond finishes up its home-and-home with VMI (April 3), and the Winthrop Eagles come to town on April 6. Winthrop and VMI will play a single game that day, before battling in a scheduled doubleheader the following afternoon.
The Keydets then head to Richmond, Va. to take on the VCU Rams on April 10, before going to Conway, S.C. to face the defending Big South champion Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. That three-game set is set to run April 13-15, and will be followed by VMI’s fifth straight road game, an April 18 date with James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va. Last year, the Keydets beat a then-ranked JMU team in Harrisonburg, winning on the Dukes’ home field for the first time since 1976.
VMI goes home again April 20, taking on new Big South member Campbell in the opener of a three-game set. As with the Winthrop series, day one will feature a single game, while Saturday will see the teams face off in a scheduled twinbill. After a quick trip to Longwood (April 24), James Madison comes to Lexington for an April 25 battle.
A three-game series at Gardner-Webb (April 27-29), VMI’s first visit to GWU’s new baseball facility, wraps up April, and a new month begins by welcoming VCU to Gray-Minor Stadium on May 1. A road game with Virginia Tech is set for May 2, and Big South regular season play wraps up nine days later, as Charleston Southern comes to Lexington for three games May 11-13.
The season ends with three non-conference games May 17-18, as VMI plays a home game with VCU and then heads to Richmond for a pair of contests on the 18th, where the Keydets will face East Carolina and VCU yet again. Due to conference scheduling, VMI will not play Radford or Liberty during the regular season.