By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
The see saw BVI Softball Association best of seven Men’s Championships Series—now tied at 2-2 after the Pirates used two homers to beat the Reds 10-1 on Sunday—has become a best of three series and a champion could possibly be crowned as early as Sunday.
Pirates’ pitcher/manager Allen Smith said over the first four games has been a lot of mixed up moods and attitudes for his team. “We weren’t jelling like we should but I think we’ve found it now,” he said. “We were missing a short stop and had to pull one of our outfielders in, so players were out of position and the team was all over the place. He’s back now so I think we’ll be alright from here.”
Play resumes at 8 p.m. on Friday with the winner taking a 3-2 series lead and the loser having to win two successive games for the title in the seventh and game.
“I’m thinking I’ll take the hog—it will be a dog fight to the end,” Reds manager Julian Adams said. “If you notice carefully, nobody can pull off back to back games and if anyone can do that, then the series is done. But winning on Friday night is very important because we’ll be one game away from the championship, if not, then it’s two games, so a win on Friday night is very important for us.”
Adams said the series has been like a Cat and Mouse game with each team coming with different strategies. He said he had a very good team on Sunday, but they didn’t take advantage of opportunities presented.
“The score doesn’t really reflect the game,” he noted. “The score was 4-0 until those two homers were hit in the game,” he added of a 3-run blast by Nicos Penn and a grand slam by Nelson Ramirez. “I recognize our mistakes and we’ll counteract that,” Adams said. “But,Friday is a big game.”
In his analysis of the first four games, Smith said the Pirates have been beating up themselves. Reds pitcher Warren Brooks gave up three hits in their opening loss, walked 10, but the Pirates stranded 13. In their second loss, they dropped four pop flies, leading Smith to say they were badly out of synch. “I’m hoping to pull off the series in six games,” said Smith who won Sunday’s game while Brooks took the loss. “Hopefully, my plan will come through. “
Adams said Smith is a very good and smart pitcher and they have to go with a game plan and execute it. The Reds he said has the better batting team although the Pirates have some good hitters in between. “Overall, I think we are the batting team and the better defensive team, so we just do what we have to do,” Adams stated.
Anchoring the Reds pitching is 65-year old Roy Hill—known locally as Panhandle—in his 50th year in the league and is the oldest player in the game. Adams said Hill is a game changer. “Even at that age, he’s still very effective,” Adams noted. “If I’d start him on Sunday, it would have been a different game too, but it was a strategic move,” Adams explained. “But, he’s an excellent player—lots of heart and the team loves him.”