FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Florida State University and Seminole Baseball announced on Wednesday, October 19 the schedule for the 2012 season. The Seminoles will open the season inside the friendly confines of Dick Howser Stadium on Mike Martin Field with a three-game series against Hofstra University beginning Friday, February 17.
Fourteen teams on this year’s schedule recorded 30 or more wins a season ago. Eleven schools earned a bid to participate in the 2011 NCAA Regional, while five teams finished last year ranked in the top 25.
“The ACC schedule is always going to be tough with all the outstanding coaches and players as well as the administrations in our league that pour so much into their baseball programs,” said head coach Mike Martin. “We know that we have to continue to get better on a daily basis in order to compete and get back to postseason play. We know that it is going to be a tough schedule when you’re playing in the ACC as well as against Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, Stetson and all the other great schools inside the state of Florida.”
Also featured on this year’s schedule is a pair of 2011 College World Series participants in intra-state rival Florida and the University of Virginia. The Gators finished as the national runner-up a season ago. FSU and Florida will square-off three times in 2012 as each team will host a game sandwiched with a meeting in Jacksonville at the Baseball Grounds on March 27.
The Seminoles, who have won five consecutive ACC Atlantic Division titles, will compete in a 30-game conference schedule playing all but one league school. FSU and Georgia Tech will renew their rivalry in 2012 as the Yellow Jackets will host the Seminoles for a three-game series beginning Friday, April 6. The lone league school off the schedule for the next two years is North Carolina.
“It’s fun to go into a year and feel like if you can get a couple of situations straightened out that you have a chance to get back to where you want to and that is the postseason,” added Martin. “It is always a challenge when you are playing in our division. You know that those teams will be coming after you; we have been fortunate in the past but we know that it is going to be tough to continue that streak.”
Florida State will open league play on the road at Duke, Friday, March 9. Along with visiting Durham and Atlanta in 2012, the Seminoles will also travel to face Wake Forest (March 23-25), Boston College (April 13-15) and Clemson (May 11-13).
The Seminoles’ home conference schedule begins on Friday, March 16 when the Garnet & Gold plays host to Virginia. The rest of the ACC home schedule features Virginia Tech (March 30-April 1), Miami (April 20-22), Maryland (May 4-6) and NC State (May 17-19) in the final week of the regular season.
Florida State’s non-conference schedule is highlighted by several teams from the state of Florida including Jacksonville, Florida International, UCF, Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast. The Dolphins, Panthers, Knights and Hatters all advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year.
Other non-conference opponents include weekend home series against the University of Maine (NCAA Regional team) and the University of Rhode Island and a mid-week match-up against North Georgia College.
For the third year in a row, Florida State will travel to Clearwater, Fla., to face the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday, February 29. The game is scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. first pitch at BrightHouse Networks Field.
“When you play the Philadelphia Phillies, it creates a memory,” said Martin. “Our guys will never forget seeing back-to-back home runs a couple years ago when James Ramsey and Stuart Tapley hit the ball out. Who will forget Tony Thomas’ leadoff home run against the Philadelphia Phillies? This game is just something the young men benefit from and a memory they will never forget.”
The ACC Baseball Tournament returns to NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C., the same ballpark where the Seminoles captured the 2010 league title after defeating NC State 8-3. The 2012 tournament will be held May 23-27.
Greensboro’s downtown stadium first opened its gates on April 3, 2005. The state-of-the-art facility features a 30′ wide, open-air concourse, 36 concession points of sale, a kid-safe play park and the second largest video board in the minor leagues. Seating capacity currently stands at 7,499 which includes 5,300 chair back seats, 16 luxury suites and 2 grass berm and picnic areas.
“When you go back to Greensboro, you know you are playing in a ballpark that was very kind to us,” said Martin. “We have some very good memories from there. We know it will be difficult to get to the ACC Tournament because of the great competition in our league. Everyone will go into Greensboro even. We have a long way to go and we have to get better each day during the offseason if we want to get back to Greensboro.”