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Arizona Diamondbacks add pre-season game against West Virginia University

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Yes, you will be able to see the Diamondbacks playing baseball next month, as they will kick off their 2016 pre-season with a game against Ken Kendrick's alma mater, WVU on February 29.

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According to reports, there will be free admission to the contest at Salt River Fields, and it's part of a road-trip for the WVU squad, who will also be playing three contests against the UNLV in Las Vegas, before flying out to Hawaii for a four-game set. Coach Randy Mazer ssid, "We are excited to be playing an exhibition game against the Diamondbacks. Our players and coaching staff are excited, and it’s a great opportunity for our team to be on the same field as Major League players, and to see exactly the level of baseball they are striving to achieve." It's believed to be the first time WVU will have faced a major-league outfit.

That isn't quite the case for the Diamodnabcks, although this is an unexpected development for them, since the franchise were originally scheduled to start their spring training off the following day, with their first game against the University of Arizona Wildcats. Beginning last year, the team began an annual collegiate baseball series, where they will play against teams from Arizona State University, U of A and Grand Canyon University in rotation. The first contest, against ASU, saw the Diamondbacks shutout the Sun Devils, by a score of 4-0.

It seems very likely owner Ken Kendrick had a significant part in getting this to take place, since Ken Kendrick was born in Princeton, West Virginia, and graduated from West Virginia University in 1965 where he was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. Since then, he has been "one of the top donors to the school and athletic department", so clearly had fond feelings for his old school. Still, anything that brings baseball closer is just fine by me. With the Cardinals' season having been brought to an abrupt end, it's time to start focusing on more important things!

22 days until pitchers and catchers report - and now, thanks to this, just 34 days until the first Diamondbacks' appearance of the season!