If it feels like college baseball season just ended, that’s because it did. On June 26, the Vanderbilt Commodores defeated the Michigan Wolverines to capture the College World Series title.
Next February, UConn Baseball will be starting the 2020 season in a tournament with those two teams and perennial contender Cal Poly in the MLB4 Tournament at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is the second-ever MLB4 Tournament. The stadium site is the shared spring training home of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.
“We are thrilled to be invited to the MLB4 tournament to open our 2020 season. In order to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best,” said head coach Jim Penders. ”We are certainly going to have a great challenge in February in Arizona and we look forward to competing at the spring training home of two of our Major Leaguers in Nick Ahmed of the D-backs and Scott Oberg of the Rockies.”
UConn is also connected to the Rockies via their affiliation with the Hartford Yard Goats, the Double-A team which plays at Dunkin Donuts Park, where the Huskies have played a few home games.
The MLB4 Tournament launched last year as a “a collegiate baseball showcase event featuring some of the best programs in the nation,” at the same venue in Scottsdale. Vanderbilt was also in that field, where it was joined by fellow baseball powers Virginia, Texas Christian, and Cal State Fullerton.
This is a prestigious tournament for a northeast program like UConn to be playing in. The Huskies will have be tested from jump at the start of the season, where they usually play their first 15 or so games on the road.