FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
TOLEDO, OH – The University of Toledo baseball program will compete in 55 games over the course of its 2012 season, Head Coach Cory Mee announced today. Twenty of the contests will take place at the friendly confines of Scott Park. The Rockets were an impressive 13-2 in home games a season ago and sport a 69-43 ledger at the corner of Parkside Blvd. and Hill Ave. over the last six seasons.
“Our team loves playing at home, and we believe we hold the edge when playing at Scott Park,” Mee said. “I think that’s definitely going to be a key thing for us this spring, to play well at home and take advantage of the home field. If we can do this, we’ll put ourselves in a very good position to accomplish our goals.”
UT will again face a demanding non-league schedule against some of the nation’s elite conferences. Games against teams from the Big Ten, Big East, Big South, Atlantic 10, Sun Belt and Horizon highlight the early games.
“There is no question our schedule early on is very challenging,” Mee said. “We are slated to play some very talented teams on the road. My hope is that we get used to playing at a high level each and every day, because that’s what’s required for us to be successful. That’s what baseball is all about. It’s a game where you have to be at your best every day in order to be successful.”
The Midnight Blue & Gold begin the 2012 campaign with 17 road contests before commencing its home campaign on Wednesday, March 21 against Oakland.
Toledo will get the ball rolling on Friday-Sunday, Feb. 17-19 when it travels to Bowling Green, KY to battle Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers won 33 contests a season ago.
The following weekend, UT will venture to Charlotte, NC for a three-game series with the 49ers on Friday-Sunday, Feb. 24-26. Charlotte picked up 43 wins in 2011 and captured the Atlantic 10 Tournament title, advancing to the NCAA Championships for the fifth time in school history.
After returning to Northwest Ohio each of the first two weekends, UT will begin its annual Spring Break trip in Greenville, SC with a three-game set vs. Furman on Friday-Sunday, March 2-4. From there, Toledo will make its way to the Myrtle Beach area to tangle with the College of Charleston (March 6), Big South power Coastal Carolina (March 9), Big Ten member Ohio State (March 10) and Marist (March 11). The Chanticleers claimed 42 victories a season ago and won their record-setting fifth straight Big South title. The Red Foxes had 35 wins in 2011, while the Cougars posted 39 victories.
Following their Spring Break trip, the Rockets will return to the Midwest for a single contest at Dayton (March 14) and a three-game series at Xavier (16-18) before their home opener against the Golden Grizzlies.
UT’s remaining non-conference opponents include Kent State (March 27 & April 4), Big East power Notre Dame (April 3), Dayton (April 10), Big Ten member Michigan (April 11), Wright State (April 18), Youngstown State (April 24), Northwestern Ohio (April 25), Michigan State (May 9) and Ohio State (May 15).
“Our non-conference games are designed to help prepare us for MAC play and we definitely have a challenging non-league slate,” Mee said. “We know we’re going to have our work cut out for us.”
This coming spring, the Rockets will have the luxury of five home MAC weekends, consisting of Ohio (March 23-25), Western Michigan (April 13-15), Ball State (April 27-29), Buffalo (May 4-6) and Eastern Michigan (May 17-19). As part of its 27-game league ledger, Toledo will face Miami (March 30-April 1, Central Michigan (April 6-8), Northern Illinois (April 20-22) and arch-rival Bowling Green (May 11-13) on the road.
“Every weekend in the MAC is a dogfight and the team that is the most fundamentally sound is going to win,” Mee said. “I think our guys are excited about our schedule and are looking forward to the challenge. I’m especially excited to see how we respond.”
Mee begins his ninth season at the helm of the Toledo baseball program, while Josh Bradford, Nick McIntyre and Brett Merritt will serve as assistant coaches. The Rockets are coming off a 26-29 overall record last spring, including 15-12 in the MAC West Division, to qualify for the conference tourney for the fourth time in the last five seasons.
“Our goals each year remain the season – we want to qualify for the conference tournament, win the MAC West Division title, win the overall MAC regular-season championship and capture the league tourney title,” Mee said.