News: MHQ fights to stay ahead of Chickens, win 10-9
Story by Lance Cpl. Kenneth Trotter
IWAKUNI, Japan - MHQ narrowly defeated the Thunder Chickens in an intramural softball playoff game at the main softball field here June 29.
The game was part of the 2011 intramural softball playoffs, which is a double-elimination tournament. The playoffs began June 28 and are scheduled to conclude Tuesday.
Anthony Baker, Thunder Chickens shortstop, was first up to bat. Baker walked to first base. Chris A. Lang, Thunder Chickens, first baseman, was able to get to first base with a line drive between second and third base.
MHQ was quick to get the line drive, tagging Baker out at second.
Roy D. Whitener, Thunder Chickens pitcher, smashed a fly ball to center field, getting to third base with Lang on third. Travis J. Eno, Thunder Chickens left centerfielder, was ruled out when a fly ball to center field the next play. Kevin J. Quintana, Thunder Chickens third baseman, was able to get Lang and Whitener home with a ground ball while he was ruled out at first.
The score was 2-0 for the Thunder Chickens. MHQ was not to be outdone in the bottom of the first.
Charles A. Redden , MHQ right centerfielder, and Jerry Woods, MHQ left centerfielder, were both able to bring a runner home with hard hits deep to right field before Raymond S. Sawejko, MHQ pitcher was ruled out when a pop up sailed left and was ruled a foul.
Stephen F. deBruyn, MHQ shortstop, managed to make it to third through a fly ball deep to left field.
In a display of athleticism, Baker made a leaping catch on Warren Graham’s, MHQ second baseman, line drive between second and third base making another out for MHQ. deBruyn ran for home when Daniel S. Clary, MHQ third baseman, hit a fly ball to center field before being tagged out at second. MHQ closed the first inning with the lead 3-2. The Thunder Chickens lone score in the top of the second came when the team’s second baseman, Derek W. Kuster, managed to break away to home from third from a fly ball deep to right field.
MHQ managed to tack on four more runs during the bottom of the second inning. With one out, deBryun hit an infield homer deep to center field, bringing two more runners home. Clary was ruled out by a fly ball to center field. deBruyn scored when Sawejko hit a line drive between first and second base and was tagged out. The score was now 7-3 at the end of the second.
“We created more runs for them by not being patient and waiting for the ball,” said Eno. “We’re going to have to work on that and our
defense throughout the tournament.”
But Eno was quick to point out that the score was no reflection of the team’s attitude.
“It’s just a game,” said Eno. “We’re having fun.”
The Thunder Chickens responded by posting 3 runs at the top of the third.
MHQ walked the Thunder Chickens’ first three batters. Eno gave the Chickens their first runner home for the third inning with a line drive.
Kuster was able to bring home two more runners with an outfield hit before being tagged at third base. The score now stood at 7-6 at the top of the third.
MHQ closed out the inning with no more runs.
The fourth inning quickly ended for the Chickens when their first three runners’ fly balls were all picked off. MHQ earned three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, closing out the inning safely in the lead 10-6. The top of the fifth the Chickens struck quick and fast.
The Chickens already had one out. With the bases loaded, Kuster hit a fly ball to right field bringing all runners home.
The score was now 10-9. Not wanting to be beaten, MHQ stepped up making two diving catches to finish the game and seal the Chickens’ fate.
“Their biggest strength was staying with us,” said Loughman. “It’s exciting in games like this.”
Nothing but respect was given to the Chickens, but the fact that they were allowed to come back and nearly win the game was something that needs to be worked on said Joshua Whitfield, MHQ first baseman.
“We were able to come back from our mistakes late in the game,” said Whitfield. “We need to commit fewer mistakes, though. But I had no doubt we’d get those last outs.”
MHQ will continue on to the winner’s bracket of the tournament. The Chickens’ will have to fight back through the losers’ brackets to have a chance at the championship in the upcoming weeks.