- - Thursday, April 12, 2018

There was a strong military presence with the pre-game events at Nationals Park on Thursday for “Patriotic Series: Military Appreciation Day.”

The Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon gave a performance in the outfield about 40 minutes prior to the first pitch between the Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals.

The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Lieutenant Aundre F. Piggee, Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4. He threw the pitch to Nationals catcher Pedro Severino, who did not start the game as Matt Wieters was back of the dish for Washington.

“It was awesome. I asked him for some advice. He said don’t throw it low,” Piggee told The Washington Times.

He followed the advice of Severino pretty well and threw a pitch over the plate from the pitcher’s mound. Severino then signed the baseball for the right-handed thrower.

It was the first time he threw the first pitch at Nationals Park. The favorite Washington players for Piggee are outfielder Michael A. Taylor and pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

Military families from USO Metro lined the field at 6:52 p.m., about 10 minutes before the first pitch.

The anthem buddies were Families of the Fallen from TAPS.

And the color guard was the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard.

The national anthem was performed by MSgt Mandi Harper of the United State Air Force Band.

The game ball delivery was by Petty Officer second class Whitney Waters of the United States Coast Guard.

And the cry of “play ball” from the first-base dugout was delivered by Joy Hayes, chief ethics officer, SAIC.

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