BATON ROUGE, LA — Southern baseball will open its 2012 season in the MLB Urban Invitational for the fourth consecutive year Feb. 17-19 in Houston. The three previous invitationals have all taken place at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, Calif.
"As one of the first teams to be a part of previous MLB Urban Invitational tournaments, we are excited to once again collaborate with MLB to try to make this event bigger and better,” said Southern University Head Baseball Coach Roger Cador.
Southern is among five HBCUs competing in the three-day round robin tournament with NCAA Division I member UC-Irvine rounding out the field of six. The primary site for the tournament will be at the MLB Urban Youth Academy at Sylvester Turner Park Friday and Sunday. Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, will serve as the host site for Saturday's tripleheader beginning at 11 a.m.
Southern opens the fourth annual invitational against Prairie View at 11 a.m. Friday before facing UC-Irvine Saturday at 3 p.m. from Minute Maid Park and then concludes with a 2:30 p.m. matinee against Alabama State. The Jaguars meeting with UC-Irvine will lead-off a live television doubleheader on the MLB Network.
“Major League Baseball nailed it by coming to Houston, a city with a huge African-American presence, where they really have an opportunity to showcase their hardware and promote their message,” said Cador.
The weekend will offer more than just baseball to the Houston area. As an additional aspect of the Urban Invitational weekend activities, MLB and the Houston Astros will host a college fair at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Feb. 18 beginning at 11 a.m. with more than 20 colleges and universities represented.
For added entertainment value, Southern's "Human Jukebox," Prairie View A&M's "Marching Storm," and Texas Southern's "Ocean of Soul" will perform in between games during Saturday's tripleheader at Minute Maid Park.
“The City of Houston is excited about the Urban Invitational coming here this year,” said Sylvester Turner, Texas Representative, District 139.
“Not only will students enjoy the baseball games and performances by the high school and college bands, they will also have an opportunity to talk with representatives from twenty plus colleges and universities. I applaud the Astros and Major League Baseball for hosting the Urban Invitational and bringing it to Houston and to the Urban Youth Academy in my legislative district.”