FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Belmont baseball team and Head Coach Dave Jarvis released the Bruins’ 2012 spring schedule on Friday afternoon. In an effort to defend its Atlantic Sun Conference championship, return to the NCAA Regional, and reach its first ever College World Series, BU has set up a difficult non-conference schedule to start the season.
In Belmont’s favor to start the season is the fact that the Bruins will play their first 13 contests in the friendly confines of E.S. Rose Park in Nashville. Hosting the Music City Classic, BU will play Evansville, Kansas, and St. Louis on February 17, 18, and 19.
“I think that our pre-conference play, non-conference schedule is going to provide a tremendous challenge for us this year,” Jarvis said.
After hosting Oregon on February 23 the Bruins will play a three game series with Arkansas-Little Rock, which is one of five 2012 opponents that made it to the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The Bruins will play a single game against Southern Illinois and a three game series against Butler before welcoming Vanderbilt to Rose Park on March 6.
The Commodores defeated Belmont in the NCAA Regional Championship, ending the Bruins season last year. Vandy went on to win the Super Regional and made it all the way to the College World Series Semifinals, totaling 54 wins.
“We get to host Vanderbilt, which will be a fun and exciting opportunity because it will be the first time we have hosted a team that was in the College World Series the previous year,” Jarvis continued. “To have Vanderbilt on our field will be an excellent addition to our home schedule.”
Home games against Murray State, Middle Tennessee, and Valparaiso surround a three game road series at Auburn March 9-11. Belmont will then begin A-Sun play, which includes home series with Stetson (NCAA Tournament participant), USC Upstate, North Florida, and Lipscomb. Road conference series will be played at ETSU, Jacksonville (NCAA Tournament participant), Mercer, Kennesaw State, and FGCU.
Finally, midweek non-conference foes also include familiar faces in Western Kentucky, NCAA Tournament participant Austin Peay, Tennessee Tech, and UT-Martin.
“All of these things give us a very difficult, very challenging, but outstanding non-conference schedule this year,” Jarvis concluded. ”Hopefully it will go a long way in preparing us to go back to the A-Sun Tournament and defend our championship from last spring.”