By “Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
On the brink of elimination during the first round before beating the Hot Shots 11-10, to stay alive, the #4 seeded Pirates used homers by Rico Penn and Shaheed Collins to win their third successive game, beating #2 seed Storm, 15-6, on Saturday, advancing to face Power Outage for the George “Shawala” Borrows Memorial Softball Tournament title on December 19.
The Pirates blew the game open in the third inning, when pitcher Rico Penn triggered a five-run effort off four hits with a leadoff homer, to lead 8-1, when their innings closed. Storm, in their at bat in the bottom of the third, countered with three runs to trail, 8-4. Rico was relieved by Nicos Penn in the bottom of the fourth as they led 9-4, then added six more runs including Shaheed Collins’ homer, for the blowout elimination victory.
“We came to conquer,” Pirates Captain and Catcher Devon Bedford told Island Sun Sports. “Once our back is against the wall, we’re gonna come and play ball. Woodrow (Allen Smith) was our old pitcher. We already got the best of him and he has no more. When knew when we saw him come on the mound tonight, it was food—food alone—and when you get food, you have to eat it.”
Player/manager Smith who formed Storm after playing with the Pirates, said his team was flat, they weren’t together and held their heads down too quickly.
“It isn’t what we didn’t do, it’s what they did—they used my old strategies to beat me—I must give them credit for that. They took my game and beat me with it,” Smith told Island Sun Sports, admittedly surprised. “They took what I used to do to beat other teams, they used it on me and I must commend them for that—it worked.”
The Pirates are scheduled to face Power Outage at 7 p.m. on Saturday, after Synergy and That’s Ya Problem play for the women’s title.
Bedford said Rico Penn who had a double and long single off Smith, his bat was quiet all season, but it’s finally coming around when they really need it.
“Once our big hitters do what they’re supposed to do, at the time when they’re supposed to do it, the game will be easy,” he said, noting that all they have to come and do is to play ball between the white lines against Power Outage to take the title. “That’s where the game is played—not outside—don’t mind the talk, don’t mind the noise, just come and play ball. They’re a good team, they have good bats, we have the same. We want to score early and put it away after the jump. They can’t handle pressure. Put a little pressure on them, they’ll crumble.”
Power Outage Captain and pitcher Jamal “Lefty” Allen, told Island Sun Sports that both teams know each other well and it won’t be a 10-2 blow out game, but it will be a good game.
“We don’t lay down for anything,” he said. “If you’re going to beat us, you better come good—come good. We don’t lay down just so. If you give us one inning, we can do it in one inning so it will be a movie.”