Army, Marist, Renegades Team For Hudson Valley Baseball Classic

Head Coach Joe Sottolano

Head Coach Joe Sottolano

April 10, 2012

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FISHKILL, N.Y. - Officials from the Hudson Valley Renegades, Army Athletic Association and Marist College Athletic Department today announced the details of the seventh annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, to be played between Army and Marist at Dutchess Stadium on April 25.

The inaugural Hudson Valley Baseball Classic was played at Dutchess Stadium on April 19, 2006, drawing an enthusiastic crowd of 2,619 - the largest to ever witness a college baseball game in the Hudson Valley. That figure was surpassed the following year on May 2 when 3,016 streamed into Dutchess Stadium to watch the second Hudson Valley Baseball Classic. Despite temperatures hovering in the 30s shortly after first pitch on April 30, 2008, the event drew a crowd of 2,375. Attendance jumped to 2,754 for the 2009 with the 2010 crowd at 2,407. Last year's game was played in front of 2,422 fans.

The contest pits the Hudson Valley's 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 area's lone minor league baseball team affiliated with a major league franchise, the Hudson Valley Renegades.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. for this year's contest and will showcase a pair of teams with NCAA aspirations. The start of the game has been moved up an hour to ensure the postgame fireworks will be included.

"We are excited to be hosting the seventh annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic," said Hudson Valley Renegades General Manager Eben Yager. "Anytime you can engage an entire community in one event supporting the top two Division I baseball programs in the area is always a good thing. Families will not only be able to watch their kids participate in a free clinic but they will enjoy a night of free baseball and postgame fireworks."

For the seventh 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 3:00 to 3:50 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.

Those wishing to attend the clinic can pre-register at Army's official website (www.goARMYsports.com) or Marist's official website (www.GoRedFoxes.com) beginning at noon on Wednesday. Individuals can also register for the event on the day of the clinic at Dutchess Stadium. The clinic has proven to be a rousing success with nearly 200 area youths participating each year.

In a popular twist added four years ago, six 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 Joe Sottolano and Marist head coach Chris Tracz to home plate to present lineup cards during the Umpires Meeting prior to the game. Four others 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).

"The WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic is truly one of the highlights of our season," said Sottolano. "It is a great community event that allows us to showcase the talents of two strong Division I baseball teams. Our players and coaches look forward to this event every year and take pride in working with the boys and girls that participate in the pre-game clinic. We are thankful for the roles that both schools play in putting the Classic together, but most importantly we are grateful for all of the hard work by the Renegades and Chamber of Commerce for this first-class event."

"This is my seventh time participating in the Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, and it is a great event for everyone involved," said Tracz. "Being a part of any event with West Point is an honor, and to showcase Division I baseball in the Hudson Valley is great for our community. Our players and staff hold this event in a special place because of the involvement with the young people they get to work with and the bigger picture that sports play in our community."

All of the game-day features associated with a Hudson Valley Renegades home contest will be in operation for the Hudson Valley Baseball Classic once again, with Renegades' staff members shouldering their normal game-day details. "Rookie," "Rene" and "Rascal," the Renegades' popular family of mascots, will be attendance, joining mascots from both Marist and Army.

Pregame festivities will include an autograph session with players from both Army and Marist, an on-field Color Guard presenting colors and a contingent of the Army Glee Club and Marist Singer's performing the National Anthem. A spectacular fireworks show provided by Legion Fireworks Company will cap the evening. The impressive fireworks display will begin immediately following the on-field presentation of the WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic Trophy to the team captains and head coach of the winning club.

"The WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic is one of the highlight events for our intercollegiate athletic program each spring," said Army Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan. "I really enjoyed my first one last year and I am looking forward to this game. We're thrilled to be able to provide Hudson Valley residents with a great night of interaction with our cadet-athletes and outstanding free entertainment. I'd like to thank the leadership of the Renegades and Marist Athletic Director Tim Murray and his staff for their contributions in helping to make this event such an annual success."

"Once again, we are honored to compete against Army in the Hudson Valley Baseball Classic," said Marist Director of Athletics Tim Murray. "I'd like to thank the Hudson Valley Renegades' organization for the great job they do in putting this event together, and for the fine work they do all summer long. I also want to thank the Army Athletic Association and our sponsors for their great efforts in making this a successful day every year. We're looking forward to a day of great baseball with an enjoyable family atmosphere."

For the first time, fans who cannot make it to Dutchess Stadium can watch a video stream of the contest through Army's ITT Exelis Knight Vision package.

Live radio for the game will be provided as well. The Army call is available on WALL (1340-AM) and WEOK (1390-AM) and also through www.goARMYsports.com. Marist is expected to offer radio as well. Army will also offer an in-game blog.

As in the past, there will be no admission charge for the event. However, complimentary tickets will be required to enter Dutchess Stadium on April 25. Tickets can be picked up at the Renegades offices, athletic departments at both Army and Marist and businesses across the Hudson Valley beginning later this week. Tickets will also be available for pickup at Dutchess Stadium the night of the Classic. Fans can contact the Hudson Valley Renegades (845-838-0094), Army Athletic Association (845-938-3303) or Marist Athletic Department (845-575-3321) for further information regarding ticket distribution policies and locations.

Sponsorship revenue as well as a portion of the concessions revenue will be donated by the Hudson Valley Renegades to the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Each chamber has received a significant donation from the Hudson Valley Renegades, courtesy of the Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, each of the past six years.

Batting practice for both teams will be open to the public with the sessions running from 4-5:10 p.m. Army will conduct its batting practice period from 3:55 to 4:30 p.m., followed by Marist from 4:30 to 5:05 p.m. Team autograph sessions will take place from 5:30-5:45 p.m. in the stands along both baselines.

Full team introductions and pregame festivities will follow with first pitch of the seventh annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

Media members wishing to attend the contest should contact Army Assistant Director for Athletic Communications Christian Anderson (845-938-6929) to arrange credentials. In the event of inclement weather, the 2012 WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic will be held on Thursday, April 26.

For more information on the 2012 WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, please visit the official Web sites of the Hudson Valley Renegades (www.hvrenegades.com), Army Athletic Association (www.goARMYsports.com) or Marist Athletic Department (www.GoRedFoxes.com).

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