The USA Baseball-Irish Classic returns to Greater Raleigh for a second year this weekend, bringing in six teams for three packed days of early-season competition. USA Baseball and the University of Notre Dame have partnered again to create one of the premier events in the college baseball world this season. The event is presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.
The 2014 field is headlined by last season’s College World Series champion University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Bruins, as well as the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Wolfpack–both teams are in Baseball America’s Top 10 to start the year. University of Michigan, Appalachian State University, Youngstown State University and host Notre Dame make up the rest of the strong field, creating one of college baseball’s signature events.
"I think you might be able to say, without knowing every preseason tournament out there, that this field is as strong as any other regular season tournament or NCAA regional," Notre Dame head coach Mik Aoki had to say of the competition.
Games will be played Fri., Feb. 28, through Sun., Mar. 2, at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. NCSU will play Fri. and Sun. games on their home campus in Raleigh at Doak Stadium.
Sat. will feature four games in Cary, including almost 12 hours of baseball played and capped by powerhouses NCSU and UCLA going head to head on the main stadium field Coleman Field, which offers seating for 2,000 spectators.
The full schedule, courtesy of USA Baseball:
Fri. (Feb. 28)
Appalachian State vs. Youngstown State - 2pm (All times ET)
NCSU vs. Michigan - 3pm (Doak Stadium/NCSU)
Notre Dame vs. UCLA - 6:30pm
Sat. (Mar. 1)
Notre Dame vs. Youngstown State - 11:30am
Michigan vs. Appalachian State - 11:30am
Notre Dame vs. Michigan - 3pm
UCLA vs. NCSU - 6:30pm
Sun. (Mar. 2)
Notre Dame vs. Appalachian State - 11am
Michigan vs. UCLA - noon
NCSU vs. Youngstown State – 1pm (Doak Stadium/NCSU)
Tickets to games at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary can be purchased here (a weekend pass is $27 and day passes will be $12). Children under the age of 12 will be admitted free of charge.