The Youngstown State baseball team will have 22 home dates and play four teams from BCS conferences during the 2012 season, head coach Rich Pasquale announced on Feb. 2.
The Penguins open their 58th season of baseball on Feb. 17 against Canisius in Cary, N.C. at the USA Baseball Complex. Their Horizon League and Eastwood Field opener is set for March 16, and the Horizon League Tournament will be May 23-27 at UIC.
Additionally, YSU will play its annual game at Cene Park on March 20 against Notre Dame College. BCS opponents on the docket include North Carolina State, Iowa, Pittsburgh and Ohio State.
The Penguins are scheduled to play a school-record-tying 30 games against Horizon League opponents thanks to a new format. League series will last three games and will be spread over three days instead of past seasons where one day would be a doubleheader. YSU will play each team six times - three on the road and three at Eastwood Field.
In addition to Canisius, the Penguins will play Monmouth and Bryant at the USA Baseball Complex and a game at North Carolina State the opening weekend. They'll return to the Tar Heel State a week later for two games each against Long Island and Fairfield in Kannapolis.
A tournament at Austin Peay against the host Governors, Akron and Iowa will open March, and the Penguins will conclude their 15-game road trip to start the season with three games at VMI and a contest at Norfolk State. YSU opens Horizon League play with a three-game series against Milwaukee starting on March 16, and the Guins will play Notre Dame College at Cene Park on March 20. They'll be back on the road for three games at UIC on March 23-25, and they'll play a home-and-home versus Akron on March 27-28.
The Penguins will then have 12 home dates over the next 31 days, starting with a three-game series against Butler on March 30-April 1. A quick trip to Pitt on April 4 and three games at Wright State over the next three days will take the Guins through Easter. They'll have a home-and-home series with Kent State on April 10-11, and they'll welcome Valparaiso to Eastwood Field April 13-15. A game against Ohio on April 17 wraps up a four-game home stand. Youngstown State will play three games at Milwaukee on April 20-22 before returning home for one game against Toledo and a three-game set against UIC to close out the month.
YSU will play Ohio State for the first time since 2002 in Columbus, Ohio, on May 1, and the Guins will play Pittsburgh at home the next day. They'll head back on the road for three games at Butler May 4-6, and YSU will play three home games against Wright State May 11-13. The home finale is set for May 15 at 11 a.m. against Pittsburgh. The regular season will wrap up May 17-19 at Valparaiso.