TAMPA, Fla. – In their second year under head coach Lelo Prado, the University of South Florida baseball team will take the field against the New York Yankees at Legends Field in Tampa on Feb. 29 at 1:15 p.m.
"This is going to be a great opportunity for every young man on our team," said Prado. "They'll get an opportunity to play against the New York Yankees and they are going to have that the rest of their lives. That is going to be a great experience for the team and a great showcase for our university."
The NCAA-MLB matchup will be the Yankees' first spring training game of the year, and the Bulls' fifth game of the 2008 season.
“The New York Yankees are excited to open our 2008 Spring Training season against the University of South Florida Bulls," said Hank Steinbrenner, New York Yankees Senior Vice President. "Being a community-minded organization, we see this as an opportunity to promote and support a great institution and a budding athletic program.”
The Bulls previously played the Yankees in exhibition action in 1982, a 9-1 victory for the team from New York.
"It is going to be special to play at Legends Field," continued Prado. "We have played in a lot of minor league parks, but it is not like playing against the New York Yankees. It is going to be a fun day for USF baseball."
The last time the Bulls played an exhibition game against a professional club was in 2000, when USF faced off with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (L, 13-0), and in 1999 the Bulls traveled to Clearwater to play the Philadelphia Phillies (L, 13-2).
USF opens the 2008 season with a three-game set against Indiana State Feb. 22-24 at Red McEwen Field in Tampa. USF’s 56-game schedule spans 21 teams from nine conferences, with 44 games played in the state of Florida and 35 at USF’s Red McEwen Field in Tampa. For a complete schedule, go to www.GoUSFBulls.com.
Former New York Yankee Tino Martinez is in his second season as a volunteer assistant coach for the Bulls and last week, former USF pitcher Dave Eiland (1986-87) was named the pitching coach for the Yankees.