By Dean Greenaway
The Pirates took control of the best of seven BVI Softball Association Championship Series that had been tied at 2-2 on Friday night with a 10-1 victory over the Reds, then used the long ball on Sunday, to bomb them 14-7, and secured the title by claiming the series 4-2.
The Pirates sent nine men to bat in the first inning as Reds hurler Warren Brooks gave up first inning 3-run homers to Rico Penn and then later to his cousin Nicos Penn, to give them a 6-0 lead. The Reds countered with an explosive five run inning in the second, cutting the deficit to 6-5, triggered by first baseman Jerry Gooding’s 2-run double.
Brooks walked the bases loaded in the third and with two outs, Devon Bedford drove in three runs on a double to center, bulging the Pirates’ lead to 8-5.
In the bottom of the inning, Gooding tripled with two outs for his second extra base hit, then came home on Akeem Francis’ double to make it 8-6.
Brooks, who had control problems, worked the bases loaded in the fourth and was relieved by 65-year old Roy Hill, the league’s oldest player in his 50th season with two outs. Nicos Penn connected for a 3-run double off Hill to give the Pirates an 11-6 advantage.
Brooks who took the loss, said ball control was what it came down to with his deliveries. “I haven’t been having it for a while,” he said of his control. “There were little things here and there that could have been different, but the who thing it came down to, I didn’t throw strikes. And if I threw strikes, I can beat that team.”
The Reds came up with a run in the fifth, but Tramore Fraser lined a 3-run homer to left field for his fifth run batted in on the night, giving the Pirates a 14-7 victory and the title.
“We didn’t bat and we didn’t stick with our game plan—bunting, bunting, bunting, bunting and more bunting,” Reds manager Julian Adams said. “We didn’t do it. We talked about it, then went for the long ball and Woodrow (Allen Smith) floating it in there—we know he’s a good pitcher and he’s going to pitch—you can’t expect him to go down easy. He’s going to fight it out. But, we did not stick to the game plan. Congratulations to the champs and nuff respect to Woodrow.”
Smith who won the game, thanked God, his sponsors, his mother and fans and said the victory was for the team as he has several titles under his belt. “The team played their heart out and tried to win,” he noted. “Only one thing I regret. I wish Sheep (Neville Smith who retired before the season) was here, so they can’t say since he wasn’t here, I won a championship. I have to call him out of retirement.”
Smith said the Reds are a great team with good batting, good fielding and have good camaraderie and they stick together, but lack one thing—a good pitcher.
“They always fight,” he noted. “If they don’t get that pitcher, they’ll always be in the same position.”