Cherry Point Marines volunteered to stop hunger and then enjoyed an evening of baseball in Morehead City.
More than a dozen personnel with the Single Marine Program attended the Morehead City Marlins baseball game at Big Rock Stadium. The event was set up through the Single Marine Program and the Military Affairs Committee of the Havelock Chamber of Commerce.
The first order of business for the Marines was as volunteers for the Stop Hunger Now campaign. They joined dozens of other volunteers in creating pre-packaged meals. In what was an assembly-line production, the Marines helped gather rice, vitamins and other food in a pre-packaged meal that would be sent to the hungry throughout the world.
“It was pretty competitive,” Lance Cpl. Kathryn Menchaca, of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 14, said of their efforts to package more meals than other groups. “It was pretty exciting.”
In total, all the volunteers packaged 10,000 meals in about 90 minutes before the baseball game.
“Every time we would get 1,000, they would ding a bell,” Menchaca said.
Then, it was time for baseball. The Morehead City Marlins, a member of the Coastal Plain League, took on the Edenton Steamers in a doubleheader.
“They’re a good team to watch,” Lance Cpl. Michael Henderson of MALS-14 said of the Marlins.
That was certainly true in the first game, when the Marlins won 9-2 behind the pitching of Cal Quantrill, who threw four perfect innings.
Quantrill, who attends Stanford University, went 7-5 with a 2.68 earned run average for the Cardinal. He struck out a team-leading 98 hitters in 110 innings on the way to earning PAC-12 Freshman of the Year honors. He was also selected in the 26th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the New York Yankees.
Despite Morehead City’s overwhelming victory in game one, Edenton jumped all over the Marlins in the second game of the doubleheader, winning 18-1.
Between innings, the Marines participated in several on-field competitions. Lance Cpl. Devys Vasquez and Lance Cpl. Nathan Kozak, both of MALS-14, teamed up to beat Henderson and Cpl. Robert Molina of MALS-14 in the wheelbarrow race, but Henderson got help from Cpl. Berenice Martinez of Fleet Readiness Center East to win an ice cream eating contest.
“I redeemed myself in the ice cream eating contest,” Henderson said. “I wasn’t really ready for that wheelbarrow race.”
The Morehead City Marlins, who consist of college baseball players from throughout the country, have games through Aug. 4. For schedule and ticket information, call 269-9767 or go online to www.mhcmarlins.com.
“It’s a great experience,” Menchaca said of attending the game. “I’d do it again.”