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Reds to host Collegiate Invitational at Great American Ball Park

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CINCINNATI (Feb. 8, 2013) -- The Cincinnati Reds announced the inaugural "Reds Collegiate Invitational" will feature the University of Cincinnati and University of Louisville baseball teams playing at Great American Ball Park on Sat., April 6, 2013.

The UC vs. UofL BIG EAST Conference matchup will begin 30 minutes after the Reds vs. Washington Nationals game at 1:10 p.m., marking the first NCAA game played at Great American Ball Park since opening in 2003.

The announcement was made Friday evening by Reds COO Phil Castellini, UC Director of Athletics Whit Babcock and UC baseball head coach Brian Cleary in the Riverfront Club at GABP during UC Baseball's First Pitch Reception, a UCATS Diamond Club fundraising banquet benefiting the Bearcats baseball program.

"The University of Cincinnati and University of Louisville are two fine universities representing Reds Country and it's important to our organization that we foster baseball at all levels including supporting local colleges," said Phil Castellini, Reds Chief Operating Officer. "We are proud to be hosting UC and UofL for the first ever college game at Great American Ball Park."

"The opportunity for our students, fans, and alumni to see our baseball team play at Great American Ball Park is special," said University of Cincinnati Director of Athletics Whit Babcock. "It is a reward for our student-athletes, a great recruiting tool and shows the region that UC is fully committed to excellence in not only football and men's basketball, but our Olympic sports as well. We want the UC brand aligned with the Reds brand in this city. We're proud of that. We're grateful to the Castellini family and Hamilton County for allowing us the opportunity to showcase our baseball program in such an outstanding venue."

"This is another example of the commitment by Reds ownership to the greater Cincinnati community," said Brian Cleary, UC baseball head coach. "Our players are excited about the opportunity to play a heated rival in a major-league venue. This is a significant event in the development of UC baseball as we will have an opportunity to introduce our program and college baseball to an even greater number of people. I know that all associated with this game are anxious to play in front of as many baseball fans as possible. Our community can make this a game that is noticed across the nation."

"We're looking forward to the opportunity to play in an outstanding facility like Great American Ball Park and promote college baseball on a national stage," said Louisville head coach Dan McDonnell. "The game will not only be a fun experience for our players and coaches, but also for our fans and alumni in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The baseball rivalry between the University of Louisville and the University of Cincinnati dates back to 1924 and this game should add another exciting chapter to that history."

Fans who purchase tickets to the Reds vs. Nationals game can stay and watch the Bearcats face the Cardinals.

For those interested in attending only the UC vs. Louisville game, tickets will be available for $5 at the Reds Box Office beginning in the eighth inning of the Reds vs. Nationals game, subject to availability.

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