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- by  New College Communications

SARASOTA, Fla. — The countdown is over as the New College of Florida baseball team prepares to make its debut on Friday, February 2, 2024. This landmark moment for the university is a notable benchmark of a new era in collegiate athletics, as Athletic Director and Head Coach Mariano Jimenez, Jr. and New College’s scholar-athletes come together to showcase their talent and passion for the sport.

The inaugural game will take place at 6 p.m., with the New College Mighty Banyans facing off against the IMG Academy Ascenders under the lights at LECOM Park. Bradenton’s venerable ballpark has hosted professional baseball for more than a century, and has been the Spring Training home of the Pittsburgh Pirates since 1969.

President Richard Corcoran expresses his gratitude for the relentless efforts put into this historic milestone, stating, “This moment has been long awaited, and we extend our gratitude to the numerous individuals who have worked tirelessly to make collegiate athletics a reality at New College. We firmly believe that this is just the beginning, and we look forward to enhancing the athletic experience for our student-athletes and fans alike and urge the community to rally behind New College athletics.”

While the New College baseball team may be considered an unknown entity, Jimenez exudes confidence in his players’ abilities. He shares, “We are stepping into uncharted territory here, with no past performance to guide us. However, our preparation, physical and mental conditioning, and unwavering determination have us poised for success. We are ready to take the field and see how we measure up.”

Tickets to the game are available online ( or at the LECOM Park ticket office for $10. Gates will open one hour prior to the game. President Corcoran will deliver the game’s ceremonial first pitch.