Baseball fans found some cleats and bats in their stockings this month as St. John’s announced the Red Storm’s schedule for the coming 2012 season.
The 56-game season stretch includes 24 home games and features the fourth annual Big Ten-Big East Challenge, as well as a total of 11 games against teams that participated in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.
Head coach Ed Blankmeyer said the high caliber of opponents is significant this season and his team will work hard to match intensity, game by game.
“This is a tough schedule comprised of great RPI [Ratings Percentage Index] teams and tough road trips, but that’s the type of schedule we want to play and we’re excited for the challenge,” said Blankmeyer, who enters into his 17th season as head coach this year. “Our hope is that the rigors of playing a tough schedule prepare us to reach our goals, which are always to win the conference regular season and tournament crowns, and to compete in the NCAA Tournament.”
The season opens with three games in Florida as part of the Big Ten-Big East Challenge. The Red Storm will face 2011 Big Ten regular season co-champions Michigan State (February 17) to open the season before facing Minnesota (February 18) for the third-consecutive season. St. John’s will conclude its opening weekend against Illinois (February 19), the defending Big Ten Tournament champions and co-regular season champions.
St. John’s then heads to Lubbock, Texas, for three games as part of the Texas Tech-hosted Brooks Wallace Memorial Classic. After playing host Texas Tech (February 24), St. John’s takes on Northern Illinois (February 25) before wrapping up the weekend with another game against the Red Raiders (February 26).
After a pair of midweek contests against North Carolina (February 28), a 2011 College World Series squad, and UNC Wilmington (February 29), the Red Storm travels to Conway, S.C. for the Coastal Carolina Invitational. St. John’s opens the Invitational with a non-conference matchup against Big East foe Pittsburgh (March 2) before taking on Coastal Carolina (March 3). The third game of the Invitational against Illinois (March 4) will be played in Myrtle Beach at BB&T Coastal Field, home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers).
St. John’s returns to the Tri-State area for a midweek game at Fairfield (March 7) before heading south and concluding its season-opening 15-game road trip with a three-game set at Liberty (March 9-11).
Following a midweek home-opener against FDU (March 14), the Red Storm hosts the inaugural Red Storm Baseball Tournament (March 16-18). St. John’s will play Albany (March 16) before another matchup against the Great Danes (March 17) opens a double-header that includes a matchup between Albany and Holy Cross. The Red Storm opens another double-header with a game against Holy Cross (March 18) that precedes a contest between the Crusaders and Great Danes.
After concluding a five-game home stand with a midweek game against LIU (March 21), the Red Storm opens Big East play on the road with a three-game set at Villanova (March 23-25).
St. John’s returns to Queens for the next four games, hosting Maryland (March 28) in midweek action before welcoming West Virginia (March 30-April 1) for a three-game Big East set.
The Red Storm is on the road for the next four games. After traveling to Staten Island for a midweek contest against Wagner (April 3) at Richmond County Bank Stadium, home of the Staten Island Yankees (Class-A affiliate of the New York Yankees), St. John’s heads to New Jersey for a BIG EAST series with Rutgers (April 5-7).
A season-long six-game home stand is next on the schedule for St. John’s. Following a pair of midweek games against Columbia (April 10) and Hofstra (April 11), the Red Storm hosts a three-game series with 2011 NCAA Super Regional participants Connecticut (April 13-15). St. John’s hosts Princeton (April 18), another NCAA Tournament squad, to conclude the home stand.
St. John’s next embarks on a seven-game road trip that begins with a three-game set at Cincinnati (April 20-22). The Red Storm then takes on Boston College (April 24) in a neutral site game in Norwich, Connecticut, that will be played at Dodd Stadium, the home of the Connecticut Tigers (Class-A Short Season affiliate of the Detroit Tigers). St. John’s concludes the road trip with a three-game set at Notre Dame (April 27-29).
The Red Storm returns home to host Iona (April 30) before welcoming USF (May 4-6) for a three-game series. After hosting NYIT (May 9), St. John’s takes to the road for a three-game set at Louisville (May 11-13).
St. John’s concludes the regular season with a four-game homestand. After facing Marist (May 15) for the first time since 1992, the Red Storm hosts Seton Hall (May 17-19) in a rematch of the 2011 Big East Tournament championship game.
The Big East Tournament runs from May 23-27 and will once again be held in Clearwater, Florida, at Bright House Field.
– with St. John’s University