Some of the best college teams will square off at one of minor-league baseball's most scenic ballparks this spring, as the Greenville Drive hosts the First Annual First Pitch Invitational on February 19-21 and more.Fluor Field has hosted some of the nation’s top college programs over the past four years, and the trend will continue in 2010 as six different programs — Clemson University, University of South Carolina, Furman University, Michigan State University, Miami (Ohio) University, and Presbyterian College — are headed to downtown Greenville to provide a unique brand of baseball excitement for fans from across the Upstate and beyond.
“Fluor Field has become a highly sought after venue for top NCAA baseball programs in recent years,” commented Drive General Manager Mike deMaine. “This season we are featuring several of the region’s most exciting teams, and we’ll be hosting some great schools from the Midwest as well. The opportunity to enjoy premier collegiate baseball in downtown Greenville has never been better.”
Signaling the start of the college baseball season, Fluor Field will host the First Annual First Pitch Invitational on February 19-21. The three-day round-robin will feature Clemson, Furman, Michigan State, and Miami (Ohio).
Drive Co-Owner and Team President Craig Brown, who is an alumnus of Michigan State, noted, “The Drive organization is proud to host Clemson, Furman, Michigan State, and Miami (Ohio) for the First Pitch Invitational as they all kickoff their respective schedules. We look forward to this becoming a signature event which the Community can rally around each spring to signal the first weekend of college baseball. Going forward we’ll continue to reach out to other major programs across the country and give them an opportunity to discover the remarkable setting and baseball tradition that we enjoy here in the Upstate.”
The Paladins, who have played each year at Fluor Field since it opened, will take on the Spartans on Friday, February 19th at 4 PM. The following day will feature a doubleheader as Clemson and Michigan State will tangle at 1 PM, followed by Furman and Miami (Ohio) at 4 PM. The action will conclude on Sunday, February 21st with the Spartans and RedHawks at 12 PM.
“We are extremely excited about coming to Greenville and playing at Fluor Field this February,” commented Jake Boss, Head Coach of Michigan State. “Our players have had the opportunity to play there the last two years and will never forget the hospitality of the people in Greenville, and the first-class manner in which they were treated by the Greenville Drive personnel. It is certainly a highlight on our schedule and something we look forward to continuing for years to come here at Michigan State.”
In addition to the First Pitch Invitational, the Furman Paladins will have three additional games during the 2010 season, with games against South Carolina on Tuesday, March 16th, Presbyterian College on Thursday, April 22nd and Clemson on Tuesday, May 11th. These matchups have proven to be extremely popular as the Furman/South Carolina game drew more than 6,000 fans in 2006 and 2008, while the Clemson/Furman game drew more than 5,500 fans in 2008.
“Fluor Field is a showcase facility,” added Furman Head Coach, Ron Smith. “Our players look forward to every opportunity we have to play there, as do our fans, who really enjoy the vibrant downtown atmosphere. It’s as nice a baseball venue to play in, and is a tremendous asset to Greenville and our community.”
Tickets for each of these exciting college games will go on sale this Thursday, and can be purchased at the Drive Box Office, online at www.GreenvilleDrive.com, or charge-by-phone by calling (864) 240-4500. Box Seats cost $10, Reserved Seats $8, Reserved Terrace Seats $6, and Lawn and Deck Seats $5.
The only college game in which tickets will not be available this Thursday, is for the first annual Reedy River Rivalry game between heated rivals Clemson and the University of South Carolina on Saturday, March 6th. Tickets to this highly anticipated matchup can be purchased by contacting one of the universities directly. The Drive have a limited quantity of tickets that will be distributed to Drive Ticket Plan Holders through a lottery system.
2010 College Baseball Series at Fluor Field Schedule
First Pitch Invitational at Fluor Field
Feb. 19: Michigan State University vs. Furman University, 4 p.m.
Feb. 20: Michigan State University vs. Clemson University, 1 p.m.
Feb. 20: Furman University vs. Miami (Ohio) University, 4 p.m.
Feb. 21: Michigan State University vs. Miami (Ohio) University, noon
March 6: Reedy River Rivalry – Clemson University vs. University of South Carolina, 2 p.m.
March 16: Furman University vs. University of South Carolina, 7 p.m.
April 22: Furman University vs. Presbyterian College, 7 p.m.
May 11: Furman University vs. Clemson University, 7:00 p.m.