01/31/12 2:14 PM EST
Orioles set to play Manatees in exhibition game
Ed Smith Stadium will host tilt against State College of Florida
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
There will be no admission charge to attend the 1:05 p.m. ET game, with the exception of reserved tickets near the SCF dugout, which will be sold by the college with proceeds supporting Manatees athletics. Tickets can be reserved through the SCF athletic department at 941-752-5261.
For the last 12 years, the State College of Florida played an annual exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and it is the only junior college in the nation to play a Major League team in Spring Training. The game against the Orioles will allow the school, where O's reliever Jim Johnson is taking online classes to complete his liberal arts degree, to carry on the tradition.
"The State College of Florida is extremely grateful to the Orioles for enabling us to continue our tradition of facing a Major League team," athletic director Matthew Ennis said in a press release. "The game means so much to our school and the surrounding community, and our players are thrilled for the opportunity to play at Ed Smith Stadium."
Formerly known as Manatee Community College, the State College of Florida's baseball program has produced more than 185 professional baseball players, and more than 350 players have gone on to four-year universities. Legendary coach Tim Hill Sr. -- only the second baseball coach in school history -- is in his 32nd and last year as head coach of the team.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.