Appalachian Baseball Opens 2012 Season

Appalachian State University baseball opens its much anticipated 2012 campaign this weekend with a game versus George Mason and two games versus Akron at Latham Park in Elon. The Mountaineers are set to face George Mason on Friday at 5 p.m., followed by a doubleheader versus Akron on Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. Appalachian was originally supposed to open 2012 by hosting St. Peter's at McNair Field in Forest City, N.C. but St. Peter's backed out of the trip last fall, leaving the Mountaineers without an opponent for the first weekend of the season. Until Elon head coach Mike Kennedy invited ASU to join the three-team field at the Phoenix's home park to fill out the Mountaineers' 2012 schedule. App State baseball carries perhaps its highest expectations in almost three decades into the much-anticipated 2012 season. Already riding a string of five-straight 30-win seasons and back-to-back Southern Conference Tournament semifinal appearances, Appalachian has its sights set on winning its first conference championship since 1987 and returning to the NCAA regional for the first time since 1986. The Mountaineers also lost just one member of its starting lineup from last season and return 81 percent of its hitting and 84 percent of its run production from a year ago. ASU's lineup will likely feature five seniors, three juniors and a sophomore on a regular basis.