By Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals are hosting the Boston Red Sox for an exhibition game at the United States Naval Academy on April 1.

The Nationals announced the news as part of a three-year deal, in which they will hold one exhibition game over each of the next three years — through 2019 — at the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

Tickets for April’s exhibition won’t be available to the public. Instead, each club will distribute complimentary tickets to Naval Academy midshipmen and select members of the U.S. Navy.

The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.

“One of the Nationals’ core community platforms is to support the military, which we do through a variety of initiatives, including our in-game Salute to Service, Military Branch Days, and visits by players and coaches to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center,” said Mark D. Lerner, principal owner and vice chairman of the Washington Nationals.

“It will be an honor for our players and coaches to take part in these games at the Naval Academy, in front of the brave men and women who have committed to serve our country,” he said.

This year’s exhibition will start at 2 p.m. ET and will be played at the home of Naval Academy’s baseball team, Max Bishop Stadium.

“We’re really excited about this partnership with the Washington Nationals to have the opportunity to showcase the Naval Academy on a national stage,” said Vice Admiral Walter E. ‘Ted’ Carter Jr., 62nd superintendent of the United States Naval Academy.

“As a team that has had a number of players who served in the Navy in two world wars, most notably Ted Williams, we are honored to be part of this special exhibition at the Naval Academy and to play in front of hundreds of midshipmen,” said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner.

“And given our deep commitment to caring for veterans in all service branches through our Home Base program, we welcome the opportunity to share what we’ve learned in combating ‘the invisible wounds of war,'” he said. “We can think of no better way to take us into the 2017 season.”

The Nationals’ opponents for 2018 and 2019 are to be announced at a later date. The Nationals will host the Red Sox for an additional exhibition game at Nationals Park on Friday, March 31. That game is scheduled for a 4:05 p.m. first pitch.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter.


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