FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
PHILADELPHIA – The 2012 Penn baseball schedule was released on Monday and will feature games against at least two NCAA Tournament teams from 2011 and a total of 16 games at Meiklejohn Stadium, beginning with a March 14 tussle against cross-town rival Temple.
“I believe we’ve put together a very challenging early season schedule for the team,” said W. Joseph Blood Head Coach of Baseball John Cole. “The guys will get to measure up to ranked competition right away, and we’ll use what we learn to help us throughout the rest of the season.”
Returning five starting position players and a deep pitching staff, Penn looks to build on a 19-21 record in 2011 that included a 10-10 finish in Ivy League play, placing second in the Lou Gehrig Division. Vince Voiro returns for his senior season after being drafted by the San Diego Padres to anchor the pitching staff, while outfielder Greg Zebrack and designated hitter Spencer Branigan will try to expand on numbers that earned them All-Ivy first team honors a year ago as sophomores.
The season begins, as it has every year since 2006, with a Spring Trip to Florida. This season, that trip will take them to DeLand and Winter Haven. The Quakers will be challenged right out of the gate, taking on Stetson –a #2 seed in the South Carolina Regional last season– in the season opener on March 2. After a regular season in which they were the Atlantic Sun champions, the Hatters went 2-2 in the NCAA Tournament to finish the season at 43-20, their only two losses coming against the host Gamecocks, the eventual NCAA champions. The Red and Blue will conclude the Stetson Tournament on March 3 versus the Georgia State Panthers, coming off a 37-21 campaign, and the Southern Illinois Salukis on March 4.
After a travel day, Penn will take the field again from March 6-11 in Winter Haven at the Russ Matt Tournament. Times and opponents for this tournament will be announced shortly.
Once back from the Sunshine State, the Quakers begin their home campaign with a mid-week contest against Temple on March 14. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. Penn and Temple have met on four occasions in the last five seasons, with the Quakers taking home the ‘W’ three times.
Penn returns to warmer climes a few days later, facing Charleston Southern three times from March 17-18. The Buccaneers went 29-30 last season in the Big South Conference.
After a mid-week game at Villanova on March 21, the Quakers return to host the first half of a home-and-home series with Lafayette. Penn hosts the Leopards on Saturday, March 24, for two games, and then both teams make the trip to Easton for two more match-ups on March 25.
Following Penn’s first game in the Liberty Bell Classic on March 27, a home game against an opponent to be determined, the Quakers begin Ivy League play with back-to-back doubleheaders at ‘The Meik’ against Brown and Yale. Every weekend doubleheader will begin at 12 p.m.
Win or lose, a second game in the Liberty Bell Classic will be played April 3. Victories in the first two Liberty Bell games would give the Quakers the chance to play at Citizens Bank Park in the Liberty Bell Final on April 17.
Besides hosting Brown and Yale, the rest of the home schedule features four games against Cornell (April 21-22) as well as the first two games of a home-and-home series with Columbia (April 27). La Salle (April 11) and Lehigh (April 18) round out the mid-week home slate.
League games away from the confines of Meiklejohn Stadium take place with doubleheaders at Dartmouth (April 7) and Harvard (April 8), four games at Princeton (April 14-15) and the conclusion of the regular season with a twin bill at Columbia (April 28). The Ivy League Playoffs take place May 5-6.