JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
A long softball season that began back in May, finally came to an end when the 10th seeded 437th Maintenance Squadron defeated the number 1 seeded 628th Security Forces Squadron 14-11 in the 2013 Intramural Softball Base Championship July 24, 2013, at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C.
The 628th SFS squad, which finished the regular season with a 13 - 3 win/loss record and were named the regular season champions, cruised their way into the championship game by easily defeating the 11th seeded 628th Force Support Squadron 13 - 3 and handling the 6th seeded 628th Civil Engineer Squadron team 8 - 2.
"The 628th SFS team started off a little slow this year with a 1 - 2 [win/loss record], but we came together as a team and pulled off 11 straight victories which lead us to the league championship," said Bob Trout, SFS player who completed his 17th year pitching for the cops.
The 437th MXS softball team, which finished the regular season 10 - 6, had a much harder path. Due to their low seed, MXS was forced to play an additional game where they beat a scrappy 373rd Training Squadron team 8 -7 on July 22, 2013. With the win, MXS advanced to the next round to face the second seeded 628th Logistics Readiness Squadron, which also finished the regular season with a 13 - 3 record. MXS won the game 16-12, and earned a chance to play against a tough 3rd seed, the 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron in the semifinals. MXS jumped out early on AMXS and was able to win 8 - 6, sending them to the championship game against the SFS.
Championship game - SFS vs. MXS July 24, 2013
MXS came out of the gates slow as they were only able to muster one hit in the top of the 1st inning.
SFS, however, didn't waste any time. They began the game with three straight hits; two singles and a double, scoring one run. A sacrifice fly by David Witt, SFS catcher, and a fielder's choice by Adam Bohl, SFS left fielder, added two more runs making it a 3-0 ballgame.
Both teams came up empty in the second inning. (SFS 3-0)
MXS rallied in the top of the third inning. After a fly out, MXS was able to get runners on the base paths by back-to-back walks to Tyrone Saxon, MXS catcher, and Austin Wild, MXS coach and pitcher. Outfielder John Williams then blasted a triple over the right-fielder's head scoring Saxon and Wild. Aaron Whittamore followed with another triple, scoring Williams.
The cops responded in the bottom half of the inning. SFS third baseman Garry Gilliam began by beating out an infield hit. He came around to score when SFS pitcher Bob Trout hit a single to left field. Later in the inning, SFS outfielder Clifford Hartley smoked a line drive to the outfield scoring two more runs. The cops added four runs in the inning and regained the lead. (SFS 7 - 3)
MXS tied the game in the top of the fourth with five base hits, with MXS shortstop Josh Thomas, delivering two RBIs on a two-out single.
SFS went three up and three down in the bottom of the inning. (TIE 7-7)
SFS shut down MXS in the top of the fifth inning and was able to add another run when Hartley singled scoring Bohl. (SFS 8-7)
"I told the players to go out there and do what we do best," Wild said to his teammates. "We are still in it and it's a 0 - 0 ballgame. Don't think about the score and just go out there and have some fun."
With only two more innings to go, MXS saved their best inning for the end. After a quick out, Saxon and Wild hit back-to-back singles. Thomas shot a single through the right side of the infield scoring a run. Williams then drew a walk; loading the bases. Whittamore came up to the plate and delivered another single through the right side of the infield; scoring two more runs. MXS doubled their score, adding seven big runs in the top half of the sixth.
Despite a leadoff double for SFS, they were unable to add any runs to their total giving MXS the lead going into the last inning. (MXS 14-8)
SFS desperately needed a quick three up and three down from MXS in the top of the seventh inning and that's exactly what they got.
Down by six runs and their last opportunity to bat, Security Forces went to work. Richard Crowell began with a leadoff triple, followed by Witt hitting into a fielder's choice scoring Crowell. Bohl then reached first base on a single. Trout flied out to left center field. With one out left in the championship, Hartley tripled scoring Bohl and later came around to score on a base hit. SFS' rally and championship run ended when the number nine hitter lined out to left field. (FINAL MXS 14 - SFS 11)
"Being an underdog going into the tournament, we knew we had to fight for it tooth and nail," said Wild. "I am very happy to have coached our amazing group of guys to a championship!"
MXS took advantages of opportunities and built a big lead [in the sixth inning] that SFS couldn't recover from, according to Joseph Draper, SFS infielder.
"We just want to thank everyone who showed us support throughout the season," said Wild. "Also, thank you to the umpires and Mr. Steve Parrish [Fitness director] for putting it all together."
Intramural Volleyball is the next sports program scheduled for JB Charleston. The season is slated to begin August 19, 2013. Anyone interested in JB Charleston - Air Base's Intramural Sports program should contact their unit sports representative or contact the Air Base Fitness Center at 963-3347. Those interested in the Weapons Station Intramural Sports program can call 764-4118.