Get to Know the Players, Details for the Game
The Washington Nationals are excited to host the inaugural Battle of the Bases Championship softball game at Nationals Park on Saturday, September 14. Fans are invited to stop by the Navy Yard as the championship game will take place right after the Nationals 4:05 p.m. game against the Atlanta Braves and is FREE to attend.
Through the Nats on Base initiative, the Nationals aim to provide year-round experiences that contribute to the quality of life for service members and their families in the Washington D.C. region, reaching them where they live and work, as well as in-park. The team works with regional and base leadership to develop programming and identify outreach opportunities at local installations. This year, the Nationals provided, at no cost to the service branches, a Nationals-branded jersey and cap to each man or woman participating in the base-affiliated intramural softball leagues.
The Battle of the Bases softball tournament served as an extension of the intramural season at each of the military bases in the National Capital Region, which featured more than 130 teams.
The Battle of the Bases Championship will begin at 8:00 p.m. or 30 minutes after the last out of the 4:05 p.m. Nationals vs. Braves game, whichever is later. The game will feature the two remaining teams — the Marine Barracks Washington “Marine Band Team” and the Marine Corps Base Quantico “Finance Team” — facing off in a six-inning game at Nationals Park for the title.
The Marine Barracks Washington “Marine Band Team” is stacked and filled with stars primed for a championship performance. Let’s meet some of them:
- Managing, playing first base, and wearing #3 is Master Sgt. Eric Sabo. The double bassist joined “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra in April 2000 and started learning music at the age of 12.
- Wearing #8 and catching is Master Sgt. Chris Shieh. Playing the viola for “The President’s Own” United States Marine Chamber Orchestra since June 1996. Shieh attended high school in Greenbelt, MD and earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Maryland in College Park, making him a local fan favorite.
- Playing outfield and donning the #12, Staff Sgt. Brad Pearson enlisted in the Marine Corps in November of 2000. From June 2004 to April 2005, Lance Corporal Pearson was activated for mobilization in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2–2. Sgt. Pearson was also deployed in support of Operation Unified Protection and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Full Roster: #1 Gunnery Sgt. Ret. Chris Baker, #6 Gunnery Sgt. Chris Franke, #9 Gunnery Sgt. Jeffrey Higgs, #11 Master Sgt. Karl Johnson, #7 Master Gunnery Sgt. Chris Rose, #3 Master Sgt. Eric Sabo (coach), #8 Master Sgt. Chris Shieh, #5 Gunnery Sgt. Steven Williams, #2 Staff Sgt. Michael Hopkins, #4 Staff Sgt. Charles Paul, #12 Staff Sgt. Brad Pearson, #10 Gunnery Sgt. Brad Weil
The Marine Corps Base Quantico “Finance Team” has a star-studded lineup leaving fans asking, “what can’t they do”? Lets meet some of the team:
- Playing third base and wearing #16 for the “Finance Team”, Corporal John F. Drew IV joined the USMC in March of 2017. Not letting any obstacle keep him down, Drew is missing half a lung AND is still a starter on his championship squad.
- Wearing #6 and playing second base is Palmyra, Virginia native Captain Caleb Haney. A track star in his early years, Haney is a DMV-area hero and proud new father with his wife, Ali, giving birth to daughter, Huxley, earlier this year.
- Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ryan Ford plays outfield for the “Finance Team” and wears #17. Having served in the USMC for 14 years, this lefty is one of the more experienced players on the team. A hockey player by trade, Ford has converted that slapshot into a sweet swing to lead the Finance Team in home runs this season.
Full Roster: #6 Captain Caleb Haney, #17 Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ryan Ford, #9 2nd Lt. Robert Olsen, #5 Master Sgt. Ray Terlaje II, #14 Officer Nate Halstead, #8 Sgt. Devante K. Jenkins, #21 Corporal Kyle Hanvey, #16 Corporal John F. Drew IV, #1 Staff Sgt. Matthuew Wooddell, #7 Staff Sgt. Blake Strother, #22 Lance Corporal Justin Burd, #11 Master Gunnery Sgt. Bennie Helton, #20 Corporal Adam T. Watters, #4 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Harrison, #12 Major Stephen White, #15 Jason Eustice (coach), #10 Master Gunnery Sgt, Ret. Ricky Joe Taylor (coach), #18 Master Gunnery Sgt. Kelvin Brown (coach), #25 Staff Sgt. Josh Rittner (coach)
Fans attending both the Nationals-Braves game and the Battle of the Bases championship will be permitted to remain in the ballpark between games, and no matter where fans sit for the baseball game, they can move down to the lower level for the softball game. Fans attending only the softball game will not need a ticket and will be able to enter the ballpark through the Third Base Gate 10 minutes after the last out of the Nationals vs. Braves game or 7:30 p.m., whichever is later. Additionally, all bases that participated in the tournament will be honored during an on-field recognition before the Nationals-Braves game on Saturday.
For more information, please visit nationals.com/BattleOfTheBases. We invite anybody and everybody to come down to Nationals Park for a full day of ball!