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Philipsburg native, soldier impresses at the Armed Services Home Run Challenge

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jacob Hensal won the inaugural All-Star Armed Services Home Run challenge on Monday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Hensal graduated from Philipsburg-Osceola High School in 2009.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jacob Hensal won the inaugural All-Star Armed Services Home Run challenge on Monday night at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. Hensal graduated from Philipsburg-Osceola High School in 2009. Screenshot provided

A Philipsburg native got to show off his swing Monday night on national television.

And no, it wasn’t Matt Adams.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jacob Hensal, a 2009 Philipsburg-Osceola graduate who now lives in Washington, D.C., sent a dinger deep into left field at Nationals Park to win the All-Star Armed Services Home Run Challenge.

Hensal earned his chance to hit softballs alongside Major League’s top sluggers during the breaks at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby by finishing in the top two at Friday night’s home run challenge tournament, held after the inaugural All-Star Armed Services Classic.

Friday night’s winner, Naval Cryptic Technician Russ Newbern, and Hensal got to face off Monday night, and spend some time chatting with and getting tips from some of baseball’s biggest stars, including derby winner Bryce Harper.

“They’re like, ‘Just relax, swing smooth and it’ll be fine,’“ Hensal told MLB.com. “It helped a lot, actually.”

As Newbern was unable to hit any over the fence after his 60-second turn, Hensal’s homer, 15 seconds into his turn, was enough to win it for team Army.

Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle walked out to shake Hensal’s hand and present him with a trophy for his win.

The Armed Services Classic was one of several military-relates events held by the MLB and the Nationals during All-Star week to honor the armed services.

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