FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford baseball coach Justin Blood announced a 47-game schedule for his first season at the helm of the Hawks in 2012. The schedule includes 41 dates, highlighted by a trio of NCAA Regional participants from 2011.
The Hawks’ first six games will all come on the road as they beat out the winter weather in the Northeast by traveling to Norman, Okla. and Lexington, Va. Hartford will be put to the test right from the start, opening the year with a three-game series against Oklahoma. The Sooners ended last season with a 40-19 overall record dropping both of their games at the Fort Worth regional to Dallas Baptist and Oral Roberts. The season opener is scheduled for Thursday, February 24 at 3:00 p.m.
The Hawks second series of the season is a three-game set at Virginia Military Academy. Following the final game of the weekend series, the Hawks will return to the Nutmeg State for their home opener on Wednesday, March 7 against Central Connecticut, the first of two meetings against the Blue Devils. The second meeting with CCSU is scheduled for a mid-week match-up on May 2 in New Britain.
The single game with CCSU serves as the only buffer before heading away from the eastern seaboard for the second time with a trip to Manhattan, Kan. for a three game series with the Kansas State Wildcats. K-State is the Hawks second NCAA Regional opponent, having made three straight regional appearances beginning in 2009. Last season, the Wildcats finished 36-25 overall, while posting an impressive 23-8 tally at the Tointon Family Stadium.
Following a single mid-week home game against the Massachusetts Minutemen (March 13), the Hawks will play their final non-conference weekend series when they travel to Pittsburgh for a three-game stint against the Panthers. The BIG EAST foe finished the 2011 season with a 33-23 overall record, falling short of a postseason bid when they were eliminated from the BIG EAST Championship by Louisville 12-2.
Coach Blood will return to his previous home when the Hawks travel to Storrs for a date with the Huskies on March 27. Blood and the Huskies finished the 2011 season with an impressive march to the program’s first NCAA Super Regional appearance before falling to South Carolina. The Huskies finished the year with an impressive 45-20-1 overall record.
The Hawks will play a 24-game conference set, which begins at the friendly confines of Fiondella Field with the first of two three game sets with the Albany Great Danes on April 7-8. The America East schedule, which includes dates with five teams, will consist of four-game series against Stony Brook, Binghamton and UMBC and a pair of three-game series with the Great Danes and Maine.
The Hawks’ final regular season games in West Hartford will be seven-straight starting with back-to-back doubleheaders against UMBC on May 5-6. The final home series will be the second against Maine, scheduled for a doubleheader on Saturday, May 12 and a single game on Sunday, May 13. The Hawks will close out the regular season with the second series against the Great Danes on May 18-19.
The top four teams following the regular season will advance to the double-elimination America East conference championship which is scheduled for May 23-25. The 2012 championship will be contested at the home field of the highest seeded team.