07/03/2016 6:00 PM
U.S. Military All-Stars
at Northwest Indiana Oilmen (14-15)
July 4, 2016 • 3 p.m. • Whiting, Ind.
Radio: AM 1230 WJOB, 104.7 FM, NWIOilmen.com
NWI’s Reggie Johnson (Alcorn State / Chicago, Ill.) vs. U.S. Military All-Stars’ Bodacious Ball (U.S. Army)
The 26th annual Red, White and Blue Tour will make its way to Oil City Stadium on Monday afternoon for a July 4 game between the U.S. Military All-Stars and the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. The U.S. Military All-Stars are a team comprised of active duty servicemen from all branches of service around the world. The U.S. Military All-Stars will hold a pregame ceremony, evoking emotion and pride in military personnel. The All-Stars lead with honor, recognizing all men and women who have worn a uniform in defense of our freedom. Proceeds from the game benefit the Northwest Indiana Veterans Action Council.
Inside the Oilmen
For one day, the result on the field is not the main focus for the Northwest Indiana Oilmen. They’ll use the day to soak up the experience of facing a team comprised of members of all branches of the military on Independence Day. The Oilmen finished a stretch of 10 games in 10 days with a 2-0 loss to the Southland Vikings on Saturday night. It was the second time in franchise history that the Oilmen have been blanked in a nine-inning game, both coming this season. They enter Monday having lost three straight games. The Oilmen were off on Sunday and have another off day on Tuesday before hitting the road for the first time since June 5 when they visit the Lakers for a doubleheader on Wednesday at 6:15. Starting pitcher Reggie Johnson holds a 5.79 ERA and 0-5 record in 23 1/3 innings this season. He has issued 16 walks and notched 20 strikeouts. In Johnson’s last outing, he gave up four runs (two earned) on five hits and six walks in five innings to take the loss against the Lakers on June 27.
Inside the U.S. Military All-Stars
Starting pitcher Bodacious Ball will take the ball for the U.S. Military All-Stars on Monday. He doubles as the team’s head coach. During his four years of U.S. Army service, he received the Good Conduct Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, NATO Medal, Valorous Unit Award and many others including The Purple Heart. He deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and was a Husky Operator for a route clearance unit. His unit, 41st Engineer Battalion, discovered more IEDs than any other unit deployed to the area. The IED he took on May 21, 2010 got his Husky and caused him to sustain injuries, including a traumatic brain injury, which earned him a Purple Heart. The U.S. Military All-Stars are coming off a victory over the Bloomington Bobcats of the Midwest Collegiate League at Illinois State’s Duffy Bass Field in Normal, Ill. on Saturday. They continue the tour on Tuesday against the Springfield Sliders. The tour runs through July 18. One unique storyline is Zach Staniewicz, who is back for his second tour with the All-Stars after being with the team in 2012. He is back with the team after playing in the Orioles organization and for various professional teams, including the Lincoln Salt Dogs of the American Association in 2015.
About the Matchup
This marks the third time the Oilmen have faced off with the U.S. Military All-Stars and the first since July 1, 2013. The Oilmen won 9-6 in 2013 after falling 9-8 in 2012. However, Monday’s game is one that’s about more than the final score as fans will gather to recognize veterans and active duty servicemen on Independence Day.
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