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Bulldogs, not Braves, get first regular-season game in SunTrust Park

The first regular-season baseball game in SunTrust Park will be played by the Georgia Bulldogs.

Georgia will face Missouri in the new Braves stadium at 1:30 p.m. April 8, a Saturday.

The Braves will open SunTrust Park with a March 31 exhibition game against the New York Yankees, but won’t play their first regular-season game in the new ballpark until April 14 against the San Diego Padres.

The Georgia-Missouri game also will mark the first time the stadium is open to the general public, because tickets to the Braves’ exhibition game there will be available only to season-ticket holders.

The Georgia-Missouri game — the third game of a three-game SEC series — will benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The Bulldogs and Missouri will play the first two games of their series April 6-7 at Foley Field in Athens.

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“This college matchup will be the first time the general public can really immerse themselves in SunTrust Park,” said Derek Schiller, the Braves’ president of business. “With the excitement building around the ballpark, we think we have a great opportunity to have a large crowd in attendance, which would mean a lot of money raised for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.”

Tickets are available for $15 through Ticketmaster.comchoa.org/firstgame or by phone at 800-745-3000.

“Our players and staff are very excited to have this unique opportunity to play the first game open to the public at SunTrust Park,” UGA coach Scott Stricklin said.

Another college baseball game is scheduled at SunTrust Park on May 9, when Georgia will meet Georgia Tech in the 15th annual Spring Baseball Classic for Kids. That game, set for a 7 p.m. start, also benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

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