Softball team scored all five runs in the sixth inning
The C&S Enterprise Hitmen scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to repeat as the New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) men’s champions. They took care of the Cyber Tech Blue Marlins 5-2 to win the best-of-five series 3-2, at the Blue Hills Sporting Complex’s Bankers Field last night.
Legendary pitcher Edney “The Heat” Bethel pitched for the Hitmen and carted off the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, with 10 strikeouts on the night to come away with 48 strikeouts in the series. Thomas Davis pitched for the Blue Marlins.
“I thank God for another MVP,” Bethel said. “I knew it was going to come as long as I win the game. I feel great and I thank God for health and strength. I thank him for my team for having my back even though we were down the first six innings. We kept on fighting.”
The bottom of the sixth inning saw the Hitmen injecting some energy into the game, as they had all the bases loaded after leaving a run on third base in the previous inning. Edron Knowles got the sacrifice hit and brought home Keiron
Munroe to give the Hitmen their first run of the game. Alcott Forbes was at the batting plate with the count on one ball and one strike. Thomas pitched a wild pitch that brought home Sherman Ferguson and Martin Burrows, who got the go-ahead run on a third base obstruction to give the Hitmen a 3-2 lead.
The game got chippy as dugouts cleared at that point, as frustration began to settle in for both teams as the game was still wide open.
A wild pitch by Davis brought home Alcott and Dino Sweeting to put the Hitmen up 5-2. Their fruitful inning ended but they smelled victory.
Bethel said that having the bases loaded gave them confidence in that inning.
“After we got the bases loaded with no one out, we gained confidence. In the bottom of the fifth we had one on third base and didn’t score. I told the guys that we were down but not out. The guys fought tonight,” Bethel said.
The top of the seventh inning saw the cooler with the champagne being brought into the Hitmen dugout. They got the Blue Marlins out in three tries as their champagne bottles began to pop. Hitmen Manager Darren Stevens spoke about the second straight title.
“I like to pop champagne,” Stevens said. “In the words of the famous coach Al Davis, I like to just win baby. All of the championship victories have a different level of sweetness. I appreciate them all and do not take them for granted, none is sweeter than the next. We came back from a two-year hiatus and we were able to persevere and repeat.”
The top of the third inning saw Garfield Bethel getting his second hit of the game. This time it was a double that was well placed down the left field. Austin Hanna came in and hit the ball down the middle, past Edney Bethel and second base with just enough speed to get to centerfield. Garfield Bethel took off from second base and ran straight home to score the first run of the game.
At the top of the fourth inning, left fielder Lavaughn Ferguson went up to bat. The count was one ball and no strike. He wound up and took a strike at the ball and went deep over the fence to the left of center field, to put his team up 2-0.
At the bottom of the fifth inning, Sweeting got on third base after he got a hit and an error. The Hitmen had no outs with Sweeting on third – a sure run waiting. The Hitmen wasted the opportunity as Hosea Hilton, Rodney Forbes and Richard Bain could not bring Sweeting home.
The first inning saw both teams pitching and the defense coming out sharp. Both pitchers got two strikeouts in the first inning, as the score was 0-0. The second inning went the same as the first inning. It was expected from a do-or-die championship game that saw good pitching and defense. Hanna made it to second base in that inning, but that was as far as he got as the inning ended. Hitmen had the pressure on them.
Richard Bain got the first hit for the Hitmen in the bottom of the third inning. Sherman Ferguson got a hit that went right field to set up a possible run for Bain, who was on first. Bain ran from first base and was intent on getting home, but was out at home plate on a good throw from right fielder Winston Seymour.
Stevens is looking for a third straight championship next year.
The Sunshine Auto Wildcats’ Ciara Bowe was the NPSA women’s MVP, with a batting average of .714 going 4-for-7 and scoring seven runs to go with four runs batted in (RBI).
Desiree Taylor was the scorer in the game. Martin Burrows was the home plate umpire.
The game saw six umpires, signaling the importance of the game. It was the first time in the series and the season that there was a full complement of umpires calling the game.