NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HOPEFUL STARTS SEASON AT PALM SPRINGS STADIUM

A tournament pitting four of the most exciting teams on the west coast begins Friday, February 15 at Palm Springs Stadium.

desert logoThe No. 6 Oregon State Beavers headline the four day tournament. The Beavers are a two-time national champion and will look to start their third championship campaign in Palm Springs.

Oregon State is led by Pac-12 preseason player of the year Michael Conforto, who was a second team All-American selection in 2012 hitting .349 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI in 58 games. The Beavers finished 40-20 last season, ultimately losing to LSU in the regional final.

Gonzaga University received votes in the initial preseason rankings and is led by preseason All-American and West Coast Conference pitcher of the year Marco Gonzalez in 2012. In addition to boasting an 8-2 record, a 1.55 ERA and 92 strikeouts in 93 innings pitched, Gonzalez is also a top hitter for the Bulldogs. He went .325 from the dish in the 2012 season.

Utah Valley University has won every regular season and tournament championship in the history of the Great West Conference and will be headed to the WAC next season. The Wolverines also received votes in the first poll of the season after finishing 47-12 in 2012. They are coming off a 32-game winning streak where they defeated eventual national champion Arizona. The 32-game winning streak was just two shy of the NCAA Division I record. The Wolverines are led by Great West Conference preseason pitcher of the year Adam Gunn who fired 75 strikeouts in 85.2 innings in 2012.

UC Riverside is led by David Andriese and returns eight of its nine position player starters from the 2012 season. Another player to watch out for is catcher Clayton Prestridge, who enters the season on a 16-game on-base streak.

A tournament pass for all the games from Friday through Monday is $50. A single day pass is $20. Tickets for children 10 and under are $10. Also available will be last game of the day passes, which can be bought for $10. The Monday session is $10.

The tournament is brought to you by the Palm Springs Power Baseball Club.

The tournament schedule is as follows (all games at Palm Springs Stadium):

Friday, 10 a.m. – Gonzaga vs Utah Valley
Friday, 2 p.m. – Utah Valley vs Oregon State
Friday, 6 p.m. – UC Riverside vs Gonzaga
Saturday, 10 a.m. – Gonzaga vs Oregon State
Saturday, 2 p.m. – Utah Valley vs UC Riverside
Sunday, 10 a.m. – Utah Valley vs Gonzaga
Sunday, 2 p.m. – UC Riverside vs Oregon State
Monday, 8:30 a.m. – UC Riverside vs Oregon State

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