DURHAM, N.C. - Series against nine teams that qualified for the 2011 NCAA Baseball Championship highlight the Duke baseball team's 2012 schedule, as announced on Monday by head coach Sean McNally.
Duke will face nine squads that qualified for NCAA Regionals, four that advanced to an NCAA Super Regional and three - Texas, Virginia and North Carolina - that moved on to the 2011 College Baseball World Series.
The Blue Devils will open the 2012 season with a three-game series at Texas Feb. 17-19.
"We're really excited about the 2012 schedule," McNally said. "Right out of the gate, we're opening up at Texas. Our players and everybody around our program is excited about that trip. It's an opportunity for us to get out and play in a hostile environment and play a tremendous program on the road. We're excited about heading out to Texas."
The Blue Devils will play 31 games at home in Durham, N.C., including at least three ACC series at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, home of the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. The remaining home games will take place at Jack Coombs Field on the West Campus of Duke University.
Duke's home series includes bouts against perennial ACC powers Florida State (March 9-11), Miami (March 16-18), Clemson (April 6-8), Virginia (April 20-22) and North Carolina (May 11-13). The Blue Devils will also host Canisius (Feb. 24-26) and George Washington (March 2-4) in non-conference home series along with single-game home meetings with Campbell (Feb. 21), Eastern Michigan (Feb. 28), Appalachian State (March 13), Liberty (March 20), UNC Greensboro (April 10), Davidson (April 17) and Presbyterian (May 15). Duke will also host Coppin State for a doubleheader on May 8.
"Our ACC slate at home this year is amazing," McNally noted. "We have Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Virginia and North Carolina all at home. We're really excited about that from a fan standpoint. Having those great programs come to Durham to play should be a lot of fun."
A tough road slate awaits the Blue Devils as Duke faces ACC opponents Virginia Tech (March 23-25), Georgia Tech (March 30-April 1), Maryland (April 13-15), NC State (April 27-29) and Boston College (May 17-19) on the road. Duke will also make a trip to the Durham Athletic Park to face N.C. Central (Feb. 22) along with non-conference treks to Western Carolina (March 6), Appalachian State (March 7), Davidson (March 27), Campbell (April 3), Charlotte (April 24) and UNC Greensboro (May 9).
"It's a very challenging schedule," McNally added. "I think that's why our guys come here. They want to be challenged. You want to play against the best and they certainly will have that opportunity this year as a part of our program and as a part of the Atlantic Coast Conference."
Following the season finale at Boston College on May 19, Duke will take part in the ACC Baseball Championship May 23-27 at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C.
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