By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Ebenezer Thomas won the Tortola leg of the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports Primary Schools Double Elimination Softball Tournament on Saturday at the E. Walwyn Brewely Softball Park, by fending off Willard Wheatley, 7-5.
They await the winner of the Virgin Gorda Zone, which has its knockout series on Saturday, for the overall crown.
Ebenezer Thomas began the day with a 2-0 record after wins of 10-6 over Willard Wheatley and 16-3 over Pelican Gate two weeks ago. Against unbeaten Enis Adams who overpowered Jost Van Dyke 12-8 earlier, Ebenezer Thomas marched to an 8-2 victory.
Facing Willard Wheatley knowing that the loser will be eliminated, Enis Adams jumped out to a 4-0 lead over their rival. Willard Wheatley came up with six runs in the second to take a 6-4 lead but Enis Adams pulled within 6-5 in the bottom of the second inning. Willard Wheatley added three runs in the top of the third, then held Enis Adams scoreless, for an 8-5 win.
Willard Wheatley then handed Ebenezer Thomas their first loss of the tournament, 6-2, as both teams had a 4-1 record.
In the deciding game, Ebenezer led 2-0 after the first inning and as visitors, went into the bottom of the second leading 6-0, before Willard Wheatley scored twice, making it 6-2. In their last at bat, Ebenezer Thomas scored a run for a 7-2 advantage. Willard Wheatley came up with three runs in the bottom of the inning, but stranded two base runners, and Ebenezer Thomas walked off with a thrilling 7-5 victory.
“This tournament was exceptionally well,” Ebenezer Thomas’ coach Iesha Forbes said. “ETPS came out, they played hard, we lost one and right away they said they were going to come back hard and they did and decided they weren’t going to let the other team win. For three games today, they won and they won exceptionally well.”
Willard Wheatley’s coach Monique Penn said her team did well especially since it was the first time most of her players were playing softball.
“They were excited, we did our best and they tried and we’re satisfied with what we did,” Penn said. “This is something I hope continues and is not a one time thing and we’re motivated to come back.”
Forbes echoes similar sentiments.
“I think this is really good and it’s encouraging for the teams and then we’ll get to see what they’re good at,” she said. “If we didn’t come out in track and field, we came out in softball, so that’s really good.”
Terry Chinnery of the Dept of Youth Affairs and Sports, said he thought the tournament was really good even though several teams didn’t show, but those that did, were enthusiastic.
“They learnt a lot and the final game today was a real exciting game coming down to the finish,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of talent and in the future, I’ll be bringing in a softball coach to go to all the school to teach them how to pitch especially, so we can start from the basic and rebuild again, because the problem now with softball, is pitching