Battle of the Badge returns to Borleske Saturday night

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WALLA WALLA — The Walla Walla Sweets’ second Battle of the Badge comes to Borleske Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.

And if you want to see the charity game between Law Enforcement and Fire Department, if you don’t already have a ticket you’d better be in line early.

“I’d say we have about 250 tickets left,” Sweets General Manager Katie Baxter said Thursday.

Last year’s inaugural game ended with Law winning, 9-5.

This year, Sweets manager and Law coach J.C. Biagi expects another good matchup.

“It’s an interesting event, especially in the preparation for it,” Biagi said. “The great unknown is, are these guys going to be able to go out and play baseball? And they can!”

Around 20 players on each team have been practicing a couple times a week with Biagi and Fire Department coachs Cesar Lopez and Mark Michaud.

“You can tell these guys are athletes,” Biagi said, although the preparation brings challenges.

“It’s a little different (from coaches organized ball) in the sense that you take a lot of things for granted,” he said. “Your players (on regular teams) learn things over the years — where to go with the ball in the gap, what to do with a bunt — but the reality is some of that stuff needs to be re-learned (for this game). For us as coaches, it’s truly teaching at it’s core.”

Last year, about 2,200 were in attendance, raising $24,000 for local charities.

“It was a nice baseball game,” Biagi said. “The crowd was out in full force, and we’re expecting more this year.”

This year’s Battle of the Badge has Law Enforcement playing to benefit Impact! Life Transitions Program, and Fire Department the Girl’s Council. The winner’s charity gets 60 percent of funds raised.

“It’s really unique,” Biagi said. “There are so many cool things about this, but at the core it’s a fun baseball game.”

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