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Yuma High School baseball to host fourth Patriot Game

Yuma High School’s baseball program will play its fourth annual Patriot Game to honor the U.S. Military on Tuesday, April 10 against Gila Ridge High School.

First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. at Doan Field on the Yuma High campus. Admission is free with military identification.  

“The Patriot Game is my favorite home game of the year,” said YHS head coach Nick Johnson, who has played or coached at Yuma High for more than a decade. “It’s under the lights, so there’s a big game atmosphere. But more importantly it’s a great opportunity for our players, coaches, school and community to honor our servicemen and women in the region as well as the entire country. I think it really helps our kids understand there are things much bigger than baseball.” ­

Personnel from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma will be in attendance, including a special guest throwing out the first pitch at approximately 6:25 p.m.

Additionally, Yuma High School Student Council members will be on-hand with free hot dogs for active or retired military members. The school will have a performance of “God Bless America” as part of a special “Fourth Inning Stretch”. And the GoAg program will be a part of a pregame tailgate that includes free, locally grown vegetables for taste testing.

The game marks the first matchup between 4A Conference rivals, who are separated by a game in the regional standings. The Criminals enter the game with wins in two of their past three games, including a 3-0 shutout in the regional opener against Youngker on Mar. 26. Through a dozen games, Yuma’s left side of the infield has been among the region’s top hitters. Shortstop Jaiden Haddock is batting .459 (fourth in the region) and third baseman Arturo Villarreal is hitting .410 (seventh).

The Hawks and Criminals play again Friday at GRHS.

Eric Patten