MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama State University baseball team has been selected to play in the fifth annual Major League Baseball Urban Invitational in Houston, Texas.
This will be the first appearance for the Alabama State baseball team in the three-day, six-team tournament Feb. 17-19, organized by Major League Baseball to help bring national exposure to HBCUs and promote the idea of playing baseball in Division I programs to America's urban youth.
"We are honored to be a part the Urban Youth Invitational Tournament," head baseball coach Mervyl Melendez said. "Major League Baseball, along with Darrell Miller and Jimmie Lee Solomon of MLB, do a great job hosting this event. Our program will gain great exposure during this tournament."
The Hornets will now open the 2012 season Friday, Feb. 17 at 2:30 p.m. against UC-Irvine, Saturday, Feb. 18 vs. Grambling State at 11 a.m., and Sunday, Feb. 19 vs. Southern at 2:30 p.m.
"We are thrilled to be working with the Houston Astros in bringing these six outstanding programs to Houston for this year's Urban Invitational," said Solomon, Executive Vice President, Baseball Development, Major League Baseball. "Through this event, Major League Baseball strives to bring much needed exposure to these individual institutions and attention to collegiate baseball programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities."
Alabama State had been slated to open the season at home Feb. 18-19 in a three-game series against Grambling. The Hornets, who begin practice Saturday, Jan. 28, will now play their home opener Tuesday, Feb. 21 against Alabama-Birmingham at 4 p.m. at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex on the ASU campus.
SWAC member schools Texas Southern and Prairie View are the other schools participating in the Urban Invitational.