April 9, 2013
FISHKILL, N.Y. -- Officials from the Hudson Valley Renegades, Army Athletic Association and Marist College Athletic Department today announced the details of the eighth annual WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic, to be played between Army and Marist at Dutchess Stadium on April 24.
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. Poor weather limited the crowd in 2012 to 1,602.
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 7:05 p.m. for this year's contest and will showcase a pair of teams with NCAA aspirations, followed by postgame fireworks.
"Hosting the WRWD Hudson Valley Baseball Classic is an event that the Renegades look forward to year after year," said Hudson Valley Renegades Senior Vice President and General Manager Eben Yager. "Having the opportunity to host an event that engages the community to support the top two Division I baseball programs in the Hudson Valley is truly a remarkable experience. On April 24, families will be able to watch their kids participate in a free clinic as well as enjoy a night of free baseball and the first post-game fireworks show of the year."
For the eighth 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 4:00 to 4:50 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 Tuesday. 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 five years ago, four 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. Two 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 always one of the highlights of our season," said Sottolano. "This great community event allows us to showcase the talents of two strong Division I baseball programs. Our players and coaches always look forward to this event and enjoy 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 in making this a first-class event."
"We are excited to once again represent Marist College in the Hudson Valley Baseball Classic," said Tracz. "It's a great day to showcase not only baseball in our area but to celebrate our local community. Partnering with West Point for this event is an honor and we look forward to spending time with the young baseball fans and supporting 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. "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."
Fans who cannot make it to Dutchess Stadium can watch a video stream of the contest.
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. The Marist call of the game can be found on WKIP (1450 AM).
WRWD will be on site at Dutchess Stadium beginning at 4 p.m. with prizes, on-air personalities and more.
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 24. 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 (845-575-3324) 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 5-6:10 p.m. Army will conduct its batting practice period from 4:55 to 5:30 p.m., followed by Marist from 5:30 to 6:05 p.m. Team autograph sessions will take place from 6:30-6:45 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 7:05 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.