Military Appreciation Weekend at "The Box"
Communications Sr. Associate
BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU Baseball will hold a “Military Appreciation” Weekend at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field as the Tigers open the 2017 season with games against the United States Air Force Academy and Army West Point.
The festivities begin on Friday at Noon, when Air Force will take on Army in a game that will precede LSU’s 7 p.m. season opener Friday night against Air Force.
LSU will face Army at 4 p.m. Saturday, and the Tigers will meet Air Force at 1 p.m. Sunday to conclude the weekend events.
LSU coach Paul Mainieri’s deep appreciation for the United States military has familial roots, as his father served in the Army and his uncle was a bombardier in the Air Force during the Korean War. Mainieri’s ties to the armed forces grew stronger from 1989-94, when he worked as the head baseball coach at the United States Air Force Academy.
This weekend, Mainieri welcomes to Alex Box Stadium one of his former USAF players, Major Mike Kazlausky, who is now the head coach of the Air Force squad.
There will be military observances held throughout the weekend, and LSU will also recognize the families of Baton Rouge law enforcement officers Brad Garafola, Sr., and Matthew Gerald, who gave their lives in the line of duty last summer.
The family of Montrell Jackson, a Baton Rouge police officer who also sacrificed his life last summer, will be recognized when LSU plays Maryland on Saturday, February 25, so that Montrell’s wife, Trenisha, will be able to attend the event.
Below is a listing of events this weekend in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field:
Friday, February 17
Noon – Army vs. Air Force
• Pregame: Flyover by Air Force F-16s
7 p.m. – Air Force at LSU
• Pregame: Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team
• Ceremonial First Pitch: Brad Garafola Jr. – son of deceased East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputy, Brad Garafola Sr.
• National Anthem performed by the LSU Tiger Tenors
Saturday, February 18
4 p.m. – Army at LSU
• Pregame: Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team/Cannon Demonstration by LSU ROTC
• Ceremonial First Pitch: Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards (Army West Point graduate, 1988)
• National Anthem performed by U.S. Army Sergeant Keegan Waldrop
• Top of 3rd Inning: LSU “Soldier Salute” to the cadets of the Army West Point baseball team
• 6th Inning: Recognition of Ray Reich, father of Army Major Stephen Reich, the all-time leader in pitching wins at West Point. Stephen Reich was a helicopter pilot killed during a rescue mission in Afghanistan in 2005.
• 7th Inning Stretch: Singing of God Bless America and salute to a World War II veteran
Sunday, February 19
1 p.m. – Air Force at LSU
• Pregame: Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Team/Flyover by Air Force F-16s
• Ceremonial First Pitch: Ronnie Gerald, father of deceased Baton Rouge Police Officer, Matthew Gerald
• National Anthem: United States Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps
• Top of 3rd Inning: LSU “Soldier Salute” to the cadets of the U.S. Air Force Academy baseball team
• 7th Inning Stretch: Singing of God Bless America and salute to a 25-year Air Force veteran