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Tulo reunites with old pal, KC starter Vargas

KANSAS CITY -- When Troy Tulowitzki stepped into the batter's box against Royals starter Jason Vargas on Wednesday, it was an official Long Beach State reunion.

Tulowitzki and Vargas were college teammates for the Dirtbags in 2004 and have remained friends over the years.

"There's some bragging rights and you always get a little extra pumped up for that," Tulowitzki said. "At the end of the day, no matter what happens, we'll be friends. The cool thing about it is, we both like competing at the highest level. It's a friendly rivalry."

The competition between friends didn't last long. After walking in the first inning, Tulowitzki was called out on strikes in the fourth and subsequently ejected by home-plate umpire Dan Bellino for arguing about the 3-2 pitch.

Tulowitzki recalls that Vargas was an accomplished hitter at Long Beach State.

"I thought he was a better hitter than pitcher at that time," Tulowitzki said. "But now, he has really developed into a good pitcher. He has gotten better and smarter as a pitcher every single year. Jason is reserved, professional and a guy who always has your back if he's your friend. Just a great guy. I can't say enough good things about him."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to
Read More: Colorado Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki