FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
ELON, N.C. — Elon baseball head coach Mike Kennedy today announced the 56-game slate that his Phoenix will tackle this spring. Highlighting the slate is a three-game set at two-time defending national champion South Carolina in late February as well as home visits by North Carolina, East Carolina and Wake Forest. The Phoenix will play 14 games against teams that participated in the 2011 NCAA tournament.
“As has been the norm for our program, we have put together another very challenging schedule in 2012,” stated Kennedy. “We want to continue to play some of the best teams in the region and in the country. We will be tested often this spring, but we want to play a schedule that puts us in a position to earn an at-large bid to regional play if necessary. The Southern Conference is a highly competitive league and we do not want to have to rely on winning the conference tournament to advance to the postseason. If we play well against this schedule, then I feel like we will have that chance.”
Elon’s 2012 season will get underway on Friday, Feb. 17 with a noon game against the Akron Zips at Latham Park. The following day, the Phoenix will face both George Mason (11 a.m.) and Akron (3:30 p.m.) before concluding the weekend with a 4 p.m. game with the Zips on Sunday.
The maroon and gold will play its next eight games away from home, beginning with a mid-week game at North Carolina A&T (Feb. 21). The Phoenix will then make the trek to Columbia, S.C., to face the two-time defending champion Gamecocks in a three-game series that gets started at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24. After concluding the series at South Carolina with Saturday and Sunday games, Elon returns to the Triad to battle High Point (Feb. 29). Elon will begin its quest for a fifth SoCon regular-season crown when league play gets started on Friday, March 2 at 6 p.m. at College of Charleston.
A stretch of six consecutive games at Latham Park follows. That span begins with a visit on March 7 by the North Carolina Tar Heels. Elon then welcomes in the defending SoCon Tournament champion Georgia Southern Eagles from March 9-11. The homestand concludes with two mid-week games against in-state competition. North Carolina State comes to Latham Park on March 13 while North Carolina A&T comes to Elon the following day. The Wolfpack and Tar Heels both reached NCAA play last year with UNC advancing all the way to the College World Series.
Following a three-game SoCon series at Davidson (March 16-18), the maroon and gold visits Clemson for games on March 20-21. The Tigers also participated in NCAA tournament play a year ago.
The Phoenix will host its second SoCon foe from March 23-25 when Appalachian State comes to town. Elon will then host UNC Wilmington on March 27.
A seven-game road swing is book-ended by league sets at Samford from March 30-April 1 and at Furman on April 6-7. In between, the Phoenix will make the short trip to Chapel Hill, N.C., to face North Carolina (April 4).
After a home game with 2011 NCAA participant East Carolina on April 10, Elon will visit NC State on April 11. The Phoenix then welcomes in Towson for a non-league weekend series from April 13-15 and hosts High Point on April 18.
SoCon play resumes for the Phoenix on April 20 as Elon kicks off a series at Wofford before traveling to UNC Wilmington on April 25.
Triad rival UNCG comes to Latham Park for a three-game SoCon series from April 27-29 before the Phoenix plays a home-and-home with Wake Forest on May 1-2. The first date will be played in Winston-Salem with the second being contested on the Elon campus.
The Phoenix will play six of its final seven games of the regular season at Latham Park beginning with a visit from SoCon rival Western Carolina on May 5. Following the conclusion of that series, Elon will visit East Carolina (May 8) before ending the year at home against The Citadel. That SoCon series runs May 16-18.
In 2012, the Southern Conference Tournament returns to Greenville, S.C., and Flour Field, home of the Greenville Drive minor league squad. The league showcase will start on May 23 with the league title game being played on May 27.