FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
The Charlotte 49ers, in search of a fifth Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season crown in their seventh season of league membership, and its third straight title, unveiled the 2012 schedule, ahead of Thursday’s season ticket plan push on December 1. The Niners will play 32 home contests at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium, in search of a fourth NCAA Regional bid since the 2007 season.
The season starts at home, with a four-game weekend series against Saint Peter’s. The season-opener is Friday, February 17, at 4 p.m.
“The primary goal, during each scheduling period, is to upgrade our non conference schedule without damaging the relationships we have established with other programs from this region,” said Charlotte head coach Loren Hibbs, who begins his 20th season in the Niner dugout 2012.
The Niners host 12 of their first 15 games in the friendly confines of Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Charlotte won 27 home contests last year and is 115-31 (.788) at home since the park reopened on March 30, 2007. They have won 20-or-more home contests in a school-record six-straight seasons.
Charlotte will battle three teams that advanced to the NCAA Regionals last season, including Super Regional participant Dallas Baptist, which visits the Queen City the final non-conference weekend of the schedule, starting a three-game series on Thursday, March 15.
The 49ers will also take on four teams from last season’s second-rated conference by RPI, the ACC. Charlotte will host Wake Forest on April 11 and Duke on April 24. The Niners will travel to North Carolina State on April 25 and play a three-game series at Georgia Tech when the two teams share a conference bye weekend, starting Saturday, May 5.
Charlotte returns a series to Missouri on the final road trip before conference play begins, heading to Columbia for a four-game series starting Friday, March 9. The Tigers play in the Big 12, which was ranked the third-toughest conference in the RPI last season.
In addition to home weekend series versus Toledo and Wagner, the 49ers host a pair of home-and home contest with local rivals High Point, USC Upstate and Winthrop.
In conference play, the 49ers hit the road early, traveling to Rhode Island starting March 23 and continuing through the A-10 with a trip to Xavier, starting March 30.
The Niners have home conference series with Dayton (April 6-8), Saint Joseph’s (April 20-22), Saint Louis (May 11-13) and a season-ending home series against St. Bonaventure, from May 17-19.
“Scheduling games during the conference bye weekend has been challenging but we have been able to turn it in to a positive (Dallas Baptist in 2011 and Georgia Tech in 2012),” added Hibbs. We have several new opponents on the 2012 schedule and Niner fans can expect that trend to continue with future schedules. Our program will be challenged throughout the entire scope of our 2012 schedule. Our players and coaches look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Charlotte was 43-16 in 2011, tied for the second-most wins in program history, and finished eighth-best in the nation in winning percentage.
Season ticket plan renewal information will be mailed on December 1. New ticket buyers can visit this site for information on the 2012 plans.
Full 2012 Charlotte Schedule