Valparaiso University baseball coach Tracy Woodson has released the Crusaders’ 2012 baseball schedule which features 21 home games, including a nine-game homestand to wrap up the regular season.
The Crusaders will open the year in warmer climates, with 19 straight games on the road beginning with a three-game series at Murray State Feb. 17-19. A week later Valpo heads to Arkansas to battle the Razorbacks in a three-game set. Arkansas advanced to the championship of the Tempe Regional last season.
Valpo’s spring break trip takes the Brown and Gold to the Carolinas beginning on March 3. Trips to Gardner-Webb, Wofford, South Carolina Upstate, and Wake Forest highlight week one of spring break before the Crusaders head to Campbell for a three-game series, including the lone doubleheader of the year, over the middle weekend. Valpo then travels to Winthrop and Belmont before heading back north to open Horizon League play March 16-18 at Butler.
“Once again we are trying to test ourselves early in the year by putting together a challenging non-conference schedule,” Woodson said. “I think we were able to put together games that will help us get ready for our conference schedule.”
This year all Horizon League series have been moved to a single game format on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday instead of previous years’ single game Friday, doubleheader Saturday format. Also new in the Horizon League this season is a 30-game schedule, with three-game series both home and away against each of the other five schools.
The 2012 home opener is slated for March 23 at Emory G. Bauer Field against Milwaukee for the start of a six-game homestand which also will have Wright State visit town.
April and May will see the continuation of conference action as well as midweek non-conference tilts. Valpo has home-and-home games with Western Michigan while also playing in-state foes Indiana State, IPFW, Notre Dame, and Ball State.
Valpo will wrap up the regular season with a nine-game homestand beginning on May 8 against North Central. The homestand includes a conference series against UIC before closing the year with three games against Youngstown State May 17-19.
This year’s Horizon League Championship will take place May 23-27 in Chicago with UIC serving as the tournament host.