Nov. 1, 2011
VILLANOVA, Pa. - For the fourth time in the last eight seasons the Villanova baseball team will square off against a highly-ranked team from the Southeastern Conference, as the Wildcats will play a three-game series at Arkansas to open the 2012 season. Head coach Joe Godri announced the first three weeks of his team's spring schedule today.
Villanova begins its 147th season of varsity baseball on February 17 with the first game in the three-game set against the Razorbacks, while the teams will finish the series on February 18-19 with afternoon games each day.
One weekend later the Wildcats will play their annual series against Norfolk State from February 24-26, marking the third season in a row and the seventh time in the last nine years that these two teams have met for an early-season series.
When the calendar turns to March it is off to the Sunshine State during Spring Break, as Villanova returns to the state of Florida after a one-year absence. For the first time the Wildcats are headed to the Port Charlotte area and will play six games in the Snowbird Baseball Classic from March 2-7.
Villanova will play a total of 12 games during the first three weeks of the season before it begins the home portion of its schedule, with the first-ever games between the Wildcats and Arkansas serving as the highlight to the early stretch of games.
"Whenever you have the chance to play against a team from the Southeastern Conference you know that you are going to see one of the top programs in college baseball," Godri said. "The atmosphere we will play in at Arkansas is what college baseball is all about. We have had some success historically versus the SEC and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to visit Arkansas for the first time."
The success Godri is referring to against SEC teams in the past came in the forms of victories over Florida during the 2005 season and Alabama during the 2007 campaign. Both teams were nationally ranked at the time and Villanova's win against the Gators in 2005 came early in a season which eventually saw Florida reach the championship series of the College World Series.
Last season the Razorbacks finished with a 40-22 overall record and ended the regular season in first place in the SEC Western division en route to a berth in an NCAA regional. Arkansas plays its home games at Baum Stadium, considered to be among the finest venues in college baseball with a capacity for more than 10,000 fans.
During the final weekend of February the Wildcats annual series against Norfolk State will once again be a weekend to look forward to. The teams have squared off at Marty L. Miller Field in Norfolk in six of the past eight seasons and Villanova has gone 15-3 against the Spartans in their head-to-head meetings.
In his first 10 seasons as Wildcats head coach Godri has led his teams to a total of 34 victories in the state of Florida and the team is excited about the chance to continue their success in the state. Villanova will be appearing in the Snowbird Baseball Classic for the first time and its games in Port Charlotte present an opportunity to play a number of challenging games.
The Wildcats will play each day from March 2-4 down in Florida, as well as on March 6-7 following an off day. Villanova opens up against Chicago State in its first tournament game and then will play Big Ten member Northwestern the next day. On March 4 the Wildcats are tentatively scheduled to play a doubleheader, facing Big Ten opponent Ohio State followed by a contest versus Western Michigan. The trip to Florida concludes with Villanova facing Miami (Ohio) on March 6 and Xavier on March 7 before returning home.
Coming up tomorrow Godri will release the full home schedule for the 2012 season, while the complete schedule for the entire season will be available before the end of the week.
VILLANOVA BASEBALL 2012 SCHEDULE
February 17-March 7 (12 Games)
Friday February 17 at Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark. 3:05 PM CT Saturday February 18 at Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark. 1:05 PM CT Sunday February 19 at Arkansas Fayetteville, Ark. 1:05 PM CT Friday February 24 at Norfolk State Norfolk, Va. TBA Saturday February 25 at Norfolk State Norfolk, Va. TBA Sunday February 26 at Norfolk State Norfolk, Va. TBA Friday March 2 vs. Chicago State Port Charlotte, Fla. 11:00 AM Saturday March 3 vs. Northwestern Port Charlotte, Fla. 2:00 PM Sunday March 4 vs. Ohio State Port Charlotte, Fla. Noon Sunday March 4 vs. Western Michigan Port Charlotte, Fla. 3:00 PM Tuesday March 6 vs. Miami (Ohio) Port Charlotte, Fla. Noon Wednesday March 7 vs. Xavier Port Charlotte, Fla. Noon