ETSU Baseball releases 2008 schedule

Monday, November 05, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 5, 2007) - A four-game season-opening series with SEC foe Auburn, trips to Georgia Tech, Georgia, and Tennessee, four 2007 NCAA Tournament participants, and 30 home contests are all on tap for the 2008 ETSU baseball team, as head coach Tony Skole and his staff released their schedule Monday afternoon.

"I feel that we've put together another very challenging schedule, and I am excited about that," mentioned Skole, who enters his ninth season as the ETSU skipper.  "We have 36 games versus opponents who won over 30 games last season. Our goal every year is to play teams which will give us the best opportunity to compete in post-season play and advance in the NCAA Tournament.  Both our Atlantic Sun Conference schedule and non-conference schedule certainly give us that opportunity."

The NCAA has put new rules into place this 2008 season. ETSU's 56-game regular season will now be only 13 weeks long, which gives schools less days to get games in during the campaign. In 2007, ETSU began its schedule on February 9 and ended on May 18, consisting of mostly four games a week. In 2008, the Bucs begin their season on Feb. 22 and end the regular season May 18, featuring as many as five games a week.


"With the length of the season being shortened, there will be many weeks where we will be playing five games in a single week," said Skole. "Our club will have to come ready to play every single night, and we plan on doing that."

The Bucs open the 2008 campaign on Friday, Feb. 22 when ETSU travels to Auburn, Ala. for a weekend series with the Tigers from Plainsman Park.

Following the four-game series, ETSU travels back home to Johnson City for a five-game home stand, beginning with Tennessee Tech in the home-opener on Feb. 27. The Bucs quickly enter Atlantic Sun action following the single game with the Golden Eagles, as they face conference newcomer, USC Upstate on March 2. ETSU will conclude its first home weekend with Austin Peay, the 2007 OVC regular season and tournament champion.

The Spartans will be one of six conference foes to visit Cardinal Park in 2008. Joining USC Upstate will be Mercer (March 14-15), North Florida (March 28-29), Gardner-Webb (April 11-12), Belmont (April 18-20) and 2007 A-Sun regular season champion Stetson closes out the 2008 slate from May 16-18.

With six home conference series in store for the Bucs it means they only have to travel to five conference schools in 2008. ETSU's first A-Sun road swing begins in Buies Creek, N.C., when the Bucs tangle with Campbell on March 7-8. Following the three-game swing with the Camels, ETSU will face 2007 Atlantic Sun tournament champion, Jacksonville, from March 20-22. The final three conference road series include Kennesaw State (April 4-5), Lipscomb (April 25-27) and newcomer Florida Gulf Coast (May 10-11).

"The Atlantic Sun always offers up a very strong and rugged schedule," added Skole, who is gunning for his first A-Sun title in ETSU's third year in the league. "It is nice to have six home conference series this season, and to be able to start our conference season at Cardinal Park will be an advantage.  This will be the first time in 10 years that we will be playing our first conference series at home.  The bottom line, though, is you have to get it done on the field - whether or not it's in your own backyard."

Other notable non-conference match-ups include a home-and-home series with Western Carolina, a 2007 NCAA Tournament participant, Tennessee and Appalachian State, a two-game road series with Georgia Tech (April 1-2), a single road game with Georgia (April 15), and home series with Radford (March 18), North Carolina Central (April 29-30), Maryland Eastern Shore (May 2-4), and James Madison (May 6).

Following the regular season portion of the schedule will be the 2008 Atlantic Sun Tournament. Stetson again will host the conference tournament from May 21-24 in DeLand, Fla. 

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