COLLEGE BASEBALL: Marist, Army finalize annual Dutchess Stadium game
FISHKILL – Officials from the Hudson Valley Renegades, Army Athletic Association and Marist College Athletic Department Friday announced the details of the ninth annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, to be played between Army and Marist at Dutchess Stadium on April 23.
The contest pits the Hudson Valleys lone Division I baseball programs, Army and Marist, and brings together residents and fan bases from neighboring communities for an evening of quality entertainment at the home of the areas lone minor league baseball team affiliated with a major league franchise, the Hudson Valley Renegades.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. for this year’s contest and will showcase a pair of teams with NCAA aspirations, followed by postgame fireworks.
Army and Marist are evenly split in the HVBC with each team winning four times.
“We are thrilled to once again be the venue for the annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic here at the Dutch,” said Renegades Vice President/Special Events Rick Zolzer. “We can’t wait to see the reaction of the players and the fans when they see our brand new all purpose Astro Turf Field.”
Leadership Dutchess has partnered with the game and will hold its “Home Run Helicopter Drop,” following the awarding of the trophy and prior to the fireworks. A grand prize of $2,000 will be awarded to one lucky winner. Fans can purchase baseballs that will be dropped from a helicopter for just $10 at www.chamberfdn.org; only a limited number will be sold. The baseball that lands on the target marked on the field will win the grand prize.
For the ninth consecutive year, in conjunction with the WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, a free baseball clinic for boys and girls ages 8 to 18 will be conducted by players and coaches from both Army and Marist on the Dutchess Stadium playing field prior to the game from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. The first 150 individuals to pre-register for the clinic will receive a T-shirt commemorating the event, while all those participating in the clinic will receive a voucher for a free ticket to a Renegades game later this summer.
“This event is a terrific opportunity to showcase two quality Division I programs in the Hudson River Valley,” said Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray. “Fans will have an opportunity to experience great college baseball with a terrific family atmosphere. I’d like to thank the Army Athletic Association, the Hudson Valley Renegades and our sponsors for their work in making this event an annual success. It is a must-see for all baseball players, fans and families.”
In a popular twist added six years ago, two youths who pre-register and attend the pregame clinic will be selected at random to participate in on-field festivities during the game itself. Two lucky youngsters will accompany Army head coach Matt Reid and Marist head coach Chris Tracz to home plate to present lineup cards during the Umpires Meeting prior to the game. Two clinic attendees will be chosen to hold the on-field microphone during renditions of The Star Spangled Banner (pregame) and God Bless America (seventh-inning stretch).
“This has grown into such a tremendous community event and we are thrilled to participate,” said Army Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan. “We are fortunate to provide Hudson Valley residents a chance to interact with our cadet-athletes and an outstanding evening of free entertainment. The Renegades leadership and Marist Athletic Director Tim Murray and his staff help ensure this annual event is a success.”