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Arizona baseball: Wildcats to participate in 2016 Tony Gwynn Classic

Getting some non-conference road games on the schedule finally

Bill Wechter/Getty Images

Originally slated to play in the 2018 Tony Gwynn Classic, the Arizona Wildcats will now participate in the inaugural one in 2016.

According to this AP report, new Arizona head coach Jay Johnson was able to get the Wildcats to replace Nevada, his former school. Johnson was able to schedule a three-game series against UC-Irvine for the Wolf Pack, allowing Arizona to slide into their slot for the Tony Gwynn Classic.

The tournament is co-hosted by San Diego State and San Diego. Johnson used to be on the coaching staff at USD before taking the Nevada head coaching job two years ago.

The Tony Gwynn Classic has been organized to honor the late Padres legend, who also went to college and then was the head baseball coach at San Diego State before dying last season due to cancer.

The seven teams that Arizona will compete against in this tournament will be: San Diego State, San Diego, Nebraska, Kentucky, Tulane, Bryant and UC-Santa Barbara. There's the potential to play several NCAA tournament-caliber teams in that field, which should help the Wildcats overcome one of their several weaknesses over the past few years: non-conference scheduling.

This should be a pretty cool event, and now with Arizona in the field, I'm certainly going to do everything I can to make it. The tournament will take place from February 26th-28th on the campuses of SDSU and USD.