Globe Life to host college baseball tourney

Six of top 10 preseason teams will compete in inaugural event

January 21st, 2021

The Texas Rangers will be hosting six of college baseball’s top teams from Feb. 19-21 at Globe Life Field for the 2021 State Farm College Baseball Showdown, the organization announced in a Zoom press conference on Thursday.

The round-robin-style tournament will feature Southeastern Conference teams Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Arkansas, as well as Big 12 Conference teams Texas, Texas Tech and TCU. All six are ranked in the top 10 of D1Baseball’s preseason rankings.

“I'm thrilled that we're here to announce that we're going to be hosting the premier preseason college baseball tournament at Globe Life Field,” said Rangers executive vice president of sports and entertainment Sean Decker. “It's our intention to host this tournament for years to come, and State Farm’s dedication to our team and this event is invaluable.”

TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle emphasized that it’s a good opportunity for fans who were not able to see the new ballpark during the 2020 MLB postseason to have a chance to do so before the '21 season kicks off.

Globe Life Field will have a capacity of 14,000-15,000 fans for each day of the event, with COVID-19 protocols similar to that of the MLB postseason and the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. A single-day ticket will be good for all three games on that particular day, and a weekend pass will be good for all nine games.

Decker said the organization is still working through how the six teams will utilize the four clubhouses at Globe Life Field while still adhering to COVID protocols.

“To say we're completely buttoned up there wouldn't be accurate, but that's what we're working through,” Decker said. “I think it'll likely be some combination where we'll actually use some of our clubhouse areas, we'll use the batting cages, things like that. But we'll kind of spread things out a little bit more than we would have otherwise.”

After the 2020 college baseball season was cut short amid the pandemic, all six coaches are excited to kick off the ‘21 season with elite competition that they may run into on the road to the College World Series in Omaha.

“Texas Tech and the Big 12 is excited about playing against the three teams from the SEC,” said head coach Tim Tadlock. “It should be really good baseball. It’s been a lot of fun watching [the Rangers] run the World Series and the NFR, and to see our teams in there competing in that beautiful facility is exciting for our guys.”

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Texas head coach David Piece said his program is eager to get back a sense of normalcy, but it will be an interesting challenge playing together for the first time since last March.

The NCAA allows teams three weekends after the start of full team practice to prepare for the state of the season.

“All three teams that we're going to face are just outstanding programs, and I have a ton of respect for all three coaches,” Piece said. “It’s a tribute when you look at the number of potential Draft players to these programs and how they've been established, so I just think it's going to be exciting for our players to get on the field and compete against some great teams.”

Decker wants to hopefully expand the tournament with more elite programs in the coming years, but he emphasizes the partnerships with the SEC and Big 12 are important going forward.

“It's our goal that this is the first weekend every year,” Decker said. “We want it to be one of the biggest weekends every year, and kind of be a highlight to the start of the college baseball season every year.”

The tournament will be streamed live on FloSports and tickets can be purchased at texasrangers.com/collegebaseballshowdown.

The full schedule for the weekend is below (all times CT):

Friday, Feb. 19

• 11 a.m. -- Mississippi State vs. Texas
• 3 p.m. -- Ole Miss vs. TCU
• 7 p.m. -- Arkansas vs. Texas Tech

Saturday, Feb. 20

• 11 a.m. -- TCU vs. Mississippi State
• 3 p.m. --Texas Tech vs. Ole Miss
• 7 p.m. -- Texas vs. Arkansas

Sunday, Feb. 21

• 11 a.m. -- Mississippi State vs. Texas Tech
• 3 p.m. -- Ole Miss vs. Texas
• 7 p.m. -- Arkansas vs. TCU