Toledo Commences 2013 Campaign With Four Games at Ron Fraser Classic in Cary, NC
CARY, NC - Toledo will lace up the spikes for the first time in 2013 with four games at the Ron Fraser Classic on Friday-Sunday, Feb. 15-17 in Cary, NC. UT will play LaSalle on Friday at 12:30 p.m., Albany and Villanova on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Temple on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
The Rockets have won their season opener in two of the last three seasons and are 5-4 (.556) overall in openers under 10th-year head coach Cory Mee.
UT returns 20 letterwinners from last year's squad that captured the program's first division crown in 88 years and advanced to the MAC Tournament for a school-record fourth consecutive season.
Toledo also registered its ninth 30-win season in school history in 2012, tied for sixth most in school history and its second under coach Mee. UT's 19-8 (.704) MAC record equaled its best mark since the conference went to a three-game series prior to the 2004 campaign.
The Midnight Blue & Gold has been picked to finish second in the MAC West Division in 2013 in a tally of the league's head coaches for a fourth-consecutive season, trailing only Central Michigan in the voting. Toledo also received a single vote to capture the MAC Tournament at All Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, OH.
Mee expects junior LHP Ryan Wilkinson (7-4, 2.99 ERA, 78.1 IP, 50 K's in 2012), senior LHP Kyle Shaw (6-3, 3.87 ERA, 76.2 IP, 45 K's in 2011), freshman RHP Kyle Slack and junior RHP Cameron Palmer (1-1, 6.75 ERA, 12.0 IP, 10 K's in 2012) to receive starting assignments on the mound this weekend.
This weekend will also be the 2013 openers for the Explorers, Great Danes, Wildcats and Owls.
LaSalle and seventh-year head coach Mike Lake posted a 20-33 overall mark in 2012, including 7-17 in the Atlantic 10. The Explorers have been picked to finish 12th in their league. LU and UT will meet for the first time in coach Mee's tenure in the Glass City.
Albany and 14th-year skipper Jon Mueller tallied a 22-32-1 overall ledger last spring, 16-8 in the America East Conference. The Great Danes are coming off their most successful conference season in the program's Division I history and have been tabbed to finish fourth in their conference. UA and UT last met on the diamond at the 2010 Caravelle Resort Invitational in Conway, SC, with the Rockets claiming a pair of victories.
Villanova and 11th-year head coach Joe Godri registered a 28-27 overall record in 2012, including 10-17 in the Big East Conference. The Wildcats have been tabbed to finish 11th in their conference. VU and UT most recently squared off during the 2006 season at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, with UT posting a 9-5 win.
Temple and first-year head coach Ryan Wheeler accumulated a 19-34 overall mark last spring, including 7-17 in the Atlantic 10. The Owls have been picked to finish 13th in their league. TU and UT will do battle for the first time in coach Mee's tenure in Northwest Ohio.
Following this weekend's season-opening action, UT will venture to Charlottesille, VA for a three-game series with Virginia on Friday-Sunday, Feb. 22-24. The ACC member Cavaliers picked up 39 wins in 2012 and advanced to the NCAA Championships.
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