WASHINGTON - The festivities leading up to the Midsummer Classic in the nation's capital are underway and a new event debuted Friday night as the Army and Air Force battled it out in the inaugural All-Star Armed Services Classic.
If Friday night's game is any indication of what is to come for Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, it is going to be a full week of fierce competition and lots of team spirit.
On this night at Nationals Park, Air Force came out victorious in the co-ed softball game with a 9-3 victory over Army.
Michael Curcio, the coach for the Air Force squad, said this win was 10 years in the making.
"I have been coaching the Air Force team for about ten years now, but this is the first time we were ever able to it on this stage and I got to give all my credit to my players," Curcio said. "Coaching is easy when they have the ability to play the way that they play. It's really not hard to coach. It's very easy to do. And it was a great game."
Air Force and Army earned a berth into Friday night's championship game after beating out the other three United States military branches - Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard - in a round-robin preliminary round.
Following the game, one slugger for each of the military branches competed in a home run challenge. U.S. Navy Cryptologic Technician Russ Newbern and Army Staff Sgt. Jacob Hensal have advanced to face off against each other during a break at the Home Run Derby on Monday night at Nationals Park.