WASHINGTON (AP) -A week before the Washington Nationals' new ballpark officially opens, the George Washington Colonials and St. Joseph's Hawks pleased their fans with a test run.
The hometown Colonials christened the 41,000-seat, $611 million Nationals Ballpark with a 9-4 win over the Hawks on a cool, overcast Saturday afternoon. The Nationals host the Atlanta Braves on March 30. They will debut in the park the evening before in their preseason finale against the Baltimore Orioles.
Tickets to Saturday's game were free but limited to students, staff and alumni of each school. Fans filled the only places they were permitted to sit in the not-quite-finished park - three sections behind each dugout in the lower bowl. Many said they were glad to get a sneak peak of the park, located on the Anacostia River, 13 blocks south of the Capitol.
``In the future they'll say, 'Who was the first game here?' and they'll say, 'Oh it was probably a Nationals game,'' said Karl Boettcher, a George Washington alumnus. ``It was actually a GW (game). It'll be a trivia question.''
The Colonials' Charlie Kruer registered the first hit in the park, a grounder off Jason Hessler down the third-base line in the first inning. Kruer then scored the first run when Andrew Abokhair hit the ball off Hessler's shoulder and into left field.
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