By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
In tandem with D’Moi Hodge, Franklyn Penn Jr., they were the BVI’s first basketball players on the same NCAA Division I roster and appeared in a game for the Cleveland State Vikings, before injuring his ACL and meniscus, ending his collegiate career.
On Sunday, the 6’3” Guard was a towering figure on the mound for Storm, during their 17-13 victory over league newcomers Raiders, in the VI Baseball Softball Association Terrence “Chino” Chinnery Softball League.
“I tore my ACL and meniscus and it requires me to ease off the basketball court and I’m an athlete, so I decided to start playing Softball,” Penn Jr., who went 1-for-2 with 2 RBI’s, told Island Sun Sports. “This is something I’ve been playing from young but due to playing basketball, I just eased away from it, but I started falling in love with it again.”
Penn Jr. who played in the Industrial Softball League with Storm’s player-coach Allen “Woodrow” Smith who asked him to pitch for his team and taught him how to, said it was a great experience on the mound.
“I learned to be a lot more patient on the mound for sure,” he said. “Making sure I stay in the circle and settling down my team, whenever we need to.”
Raiders Coach Darier Malone, said her batsmen were misjudging Penn Jr., because he’s a new pitcher, he probably wouldn’t be able to do damage to them. “But he came out strong and he came out willing and that’s probably why he got those K’s on us. But with Woodrow coming in and hitting an experienced pitcher like that, we have potential to do damage. This is a team to look for. Don’t count us out. We’re still in it and we’re going (to) be in it.”
Smith said it was Penn Jr.’s debut. “He was healthy, had a sure win, easy game for him and that’s what I like,” he said. “He just started pitching three months ago and he’s around the plate, staying focused, just needs a little bit more work, a little bit more tweaking (and) he’s good to go.”
With a 2-for-2 games, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI’s and a stolen base, Rhodni Skelton was Storm’s top batsman, while Raiders’ Jayque Hopkins was 1-for-1 with 4 runs scored, 3 walks and a stolen base.
Tecieus “TC” Frett homered and had 3 runs batted in, during the Pirates’ 10-4 win over Albion’s Hot Shots. Ramon George went 3-for-3 and drove in one. Nikos Penn picked up the victory. Ron Hatchett of the Hot Shots went 1-for-1, with 2 runs scored and 2 walks. Clifton Forbes Jr., who gave up all six hits, was the losing pitcher.
In Women’s play, Lady Hawks broke a 12-12 tie with five runs in the top of the 5th inning, to fend off the West End Warriors, 17-12, after capitalizing on 17 walks in the game. Javlyn Frett scattered five hits in the victory. Jelisa Potter took the loss. Lady Hawks’ Gertrude Thomas had 4 RBI’s after going 2-for-4. She also scored a run. Potter was the Warriors leading hitter, going 2-for-4, with 2 runs scored, a stolen base and a run batted in.
That’s Ya Problem scored 17 in the 2nd inning, during a 30-6 victory over newcomers Lady Wings. Che’Vaunne Richardson was the winning pitcher, Sheria Romney took the loss. Valissa Brathwaite had a 4-for-4 game including 2 homers, scored 4 times and finished with 5 RBI’s. Lady Wings’ Merica Frett singled, scored a run and drove in one.