SURPRISE - Northern Illinois University's baseball team is a last-minute addition to the field for the 6th Annual Coca-Cola Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz.
Surprise Community and Recreation Services Director Mark Coronado says "sports can be a great source of healing, as people come together to root on their team."
The idea to add Northern Illinois as a fifth team in the tournament was the brainchild of Arizona State University baseball coach Pay Murphy, who reached out to Huskies coach Ed Mathey and invited NIU to the Phoenix-area event.
NIU students returned to classes this week for the first time since the deadly Feb. 14 shootings on their campus.
Joining NIU and ASU in the Baseball Classic, which runs Thursday through Saturday, are Michigan, Hawaii, and Portland.