COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M baseball team announced its schedule for the 2012 campaign Thursday afternoon as the Aggies will host 40 games in Aggieland to showcase their new state-of-the-art home, the recently renovated Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
Riding the momentum of last season's run to Omaha, Neb., and the College World Series, A&M will face nine teams that are coming off NCAA Tournament appearances during the 2011 campaign.
"Our goal is always to make it to Omaha and be the last team standing," Texas A&M head coach Rob Childress said. "We're excited because this schedule will challenge us as we work toward that goal but it's also going to give us a chance to showcase our beautiful new ballpark. Playing 40 games at home in front of our great fans is something we really wanted to do this season because it will give the 12th Man a chance to get familiar with the renovations at Blue Bell Park, which is going to be one of the best venues in the entire country for college baseball."
The Aggies will open the 2012 campaign and officially christen Blue Bell Park with a three-game series against Illinois-Chicago on Feb. 17-19.
Stephen F. Austin will be A&M's first mid-week opponent of the season on Feb. 21 as the Lumberjacks visit Aggieland before Holy Cross comes to town for a weekend series, Feb. 24-26. The Aggies will round out the season's opening month with a two-game set against Northwestern State at home, Feb. 28-29.
The first weekend in March will see the Big 10's Michigan State make a visit to College Station for three contests, March 2-4, before Prairie View A&M pays a visit for a contest on Olsen Field, March 6.
In a rematch of a non-conference showdown a year ago, A&M will welcome Cal State Fullerton to Aggieland on March 9-11. The Titans hosted an NCAA Regional last season but dropped a tightly-contested game to the Aggies in College Station earlier that March.
Texas-Pan American will be in town for a two-game, mid-week set on March 13-14 before the Aggies begin Big 12 Conference play by hosting Kansas State in a three-game series, March 16-18.
Texas A&M will be seeking its third straight Big 12 title as a year ago the Aggies claimed both the regular season championship and the postseason tournament title after also winning the league's championship tournament in 2010.
A&M's first venture away from the friendly confines of Blue Bell Park will come on March 20 when it makes the short trip to the Bayou City to face Houston at Cougar Field.
The weekend of March 23-25 will see the Aggie take a west-coast trip to battle Pepperdine during a three-game series in Malibu, Calif., before returning home to face Houston Baptist on March 27.
Jumping back into Big 12 play, A&M will play host to Missouri on March 30-April 1. The Aggies and Tigers faced off in the title game of the 2011 Big 12 Championship a year ago with A&M winning in walk-off fashion to claim the league's postseason title for the third time in six seasons under Childress.
Following a home contest against UTSA on April 3, Texas A&M will host Oklahoma in a three-game set at Blue Bell Park on April 5-7. The series with the Sooners, who were an NCAA Regional squad a season ago, will be a Thursday-Saturday affair in preparation for the Easter holiday.
The Mavericks of UT Arlington will visit College Station for a season straight season on April 10 before the Aggies travel north to Lawrence, Kan., for a three-game series against Kansas at Hoglund Ballpark on April 13-15.
On April 17, A&M will face another NCAA Tournament team from a year ago as the Rice Owls visit Blue Bell Park April 17 for an evening affair.
Texas A&M and long-time rival Baylor will renew acquaintances on April 20-22. The first contest against the Bears will take place in College Station before the scene shifts to Waco's Baylor Ballpark for the final two games of the three-game series. The rivalry on the baseball diamond between the two schools dates back to 1904 with the Aggies holding a 180-131-4 edge in the all-time series.
Following the Baylor series, the Aggies will hit the road for the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex as they will face TCU at Lupton Family Stadium on April 24.
A three-game series with arch-rival Texas is set for April 27-29 with the first contest between the Aggies and Longhorns slated for Blue Bell Park before the two squads face each other the next two days at Austin's Disch-Falk Field.
A&M will make a quick trip to Huntsville, Texas, to take on Sam Houston State on May 1 before returning to Aggieland to host Texas Tech for three games May 4-6.
Taking a break from Big 12 play on the weekend of May 11-13, the Aggies will entertain San Diego State before hosting Texas State in a mid-week affair on May 15.
Texas A&M will conclude the regular season on May 17-19 with a three-game road series against Oklahoma State at Stillwater's Allie P. Reynolds Stadium
The Big 12 Championship will take place in Oklahoma City's Bricktown Ballpark on May 23-27 where the Aggies will gun for a third straight title after winning the league's postseason crown in extra-inning, walk-off style each of the last two years.
NCAA Regional games are slated for June 1-3 before Super Regionals take place the weekend of June 8-10. College baseball's national champion will be crowned in Omaha, Neb., during the College World Series on June 16-17.