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NCAA champs, runners-up headline 2020 MLB4

@wboor
July 15, 2019

The second edition of the MLB4 tournament will feature both the reigning College World Series champion and the runner-up, Major League Baseball announced on Monday. The showcase, which pits four of the best programs in the nation to celebrate the traditional opening weekend of the college baseball season, will take

The second edition of the MLB4 tournament will feature both the reigning College World Series champion and the runner-up, Major League Baseball announced on Monday.

The showcase, which pits four of the best programs in the nation to celebrate the traditional opening weekend of the college baseball season, will take place from Feb. 14-16 at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Vanderbilt, the 2019 College World Series champions, will headline the field for a second season and will be joined by runner-up Michigan, as well as UConn and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Each team will play the others one time. Additional schedule and broadcast details on MLB Network will be announced at a later date.

“We were very excited to play in the inaugural MLB4 tournament and we are so gracious to be included again,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin said. “This is and was one of the best tournaments that we have had the opportunity to play in.”

Vanderbilt went 2-1 in last year’s tournament and will be looking to start the year off strong once again.

In addition to hosting last year’s national champion, the MLB4 tournament will generate buzz because it also features the runner-up. Michigan is coming off a wildly successful season and seeking to build on that in 2020.

“We are thrilled to open the 2020 season in one of the nation’s most elite tournaments against some of the best competition," Michigan head coach Erik Bakich said. "We sincerely appreciate the invitation from Major League Baseball, as well as our strong relationship between the people inside the collegiate and professional game.”

UConn is coming off an appearance in a regional final and finished last year with 39 wins, tied for the third-most in school history. The Cal Poly Mustangs finished tied for second place in the Big West Conference but were done in by a slow start, something they hope to improve upon this season.

“There couldn’t be a better way to start the season with games against the reigning national champion, the runner-up and another regional team,” Cal Poly head coach Larry Lee said. “We’ll need to hit the ground running.”

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.