02/25/11 — Seven Tar Heels return home to play at venerable Grainger Stadium

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Seven Tar Heels return home to play at venerable Grainger Stadium

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on February 25, 2011 1:47 PM

KINSTON -- Tar Heel talent comes home this weekend for the inaugural "Freedom Classic" between the United States Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy.

First pitch in the three-game set is today at 6 p.m. at historic Grainger Stadium. The two service academies will play at 2 p.m. Saturday and conclude their early-season series Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Tickets are $2 for active or retired military, veterans, students and seniors. Admission is $5 for everyone else.

"We are inviting all of eastern North Carolina to honor and support our military in the Freedom Classic," said Bill Ellis, director of the Kinston Parks and Recreation Department. "Not only will fans get to see some fantastic college baseball, but the military pageantry we have lined up for the series is really going to make it memorable."

Navy is 0-4 overall and currently on a season-opening, seven-game road swing. The Middies have six Tar Heels on their rosters -- Nikolai Simosen (Edenton), Josh Elmore (Hope Mills), Kyle Hackney (Pittsboro), Josh Moore (River Mills), Jon Wright (Arden) and Luke Roberts (Midland).

Roberts, a senior, earned all-Patriot League honors in 2009 and posted a 2.53 earned run average in 10 relief appearances in 2010. Wright batted .321 in 28 games, while Moore hit a crisp .321 in 26 outings last spring.

Simonsen, Elmore and Hackney are freshmen.

Air Force (2-2) has just one North Carolinian on its roster -- Adam Hill. The junior batted .261 in 28 games last season and made 16 starts. The Falcons will play 15 consecutive road contests before opening the home portion of their season with a doubleheader against Creighton on March 16.