On April 6, following a 1:10pm game between the Reds and Washington Nationals, the Cincinnati Bearcats baseball team will host the nationally No. 4-ranked Louisville Cardinals at GABP.
‘‘It will be the first college game played at Great American Ball Park’’ as part of a doubleheader with the major league club, said Phil Castellini, the Reds chief operating officer, who made the announcement Friday night at the ‘‘First Pitch Reception’’ at GABP.
“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 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.”
UC baseball coach Brian Cleary added:
‘‘Great fit because they (U of L) will bring a lot of fans and we’ll bring a lot of fans — and the Louisville Bats are the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate,’’ Cleary said.
The UC-UofL rivalry has taken place since 1924 and both sides are excited about the number of fans they can bring to the game earlier in the day.
UC (18-38 last year, including 7-20 in the Big East) begins its season this Friday, Feb. 15, with a three-game series at Florida Atlantic, who are the defending regular season champions of the Sun Belt Conference.
“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.”