By Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway
Ahead of its first post Hurricane Irma league, the BVI Softball Association is offering a series of intriguing matchups as teams begin preparing for competitions.
After trailing 5-0, the Pirates batted around in the second, scored 10 runs, then went on to overpower the Macarecios, 18-6 on Saturday night at the E. Walwyn Brewley Softball Park, in a tune up to face ex pitcher Allen “Woodrow” Smith, who left them to form Storm. That matchup is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Pirates manager Elroy “Ellie” Henley, said his team is starting to play to its potential and said they need to play a little but more so that they can develop the fundamental team spirit in place.
“I think all the players are starting to play their positions and we’ll be fine in a little while,” he told Island Sun Sports. “We have two or three pitchers, one wasn’t here tonight, but I think we’re going to do well. These guys are following instructions, we’re starting to play inside outside ball now in reference to signs instead of just throwing the ball and expecting the catcher to catch it.”
Henley said collegiate baseball catcher Kennard Dawson is a help to the team, even though he’s expected to depart in August, they’ll take what they can get from him. Henley noted that he’s aggressive and didn’t miss a ball behind the plate.
“We gave him a little bit of instructions, him and the pitcher in terms of reference to communication stuff, inside, outside, up and down, but other than that’s he’s fast and into the game,” Henley noted. “He looks like he loves the game.”
Henley believes others can learn a lot from Dawson, recalling that in past, the potential of the pitcher and catcher wasn’t really displayed because everybody was guessing what pitch is coming. He added that once you know what pitch is coming, you can set up for it.
“We’re starting to pitch with sighs so the pitcher and catcher knows where the ball is going to go with each pitch,” he explained. “So more confidence would be there now. No one has to guess where the ball is going or not going.”
With his primary pitcher stuck in Santo Domingo because of COVID-19, Macarecios manager Junior Rodriguez, said he tried several different players with pitching to find ‘the one’ but his team played lazy after scoring five in the first.
“In the second we had a lot of errors, gave up runs and that’s where the pitcher went down and how I lost,” he noted. “My best pitcher (Yevris Rodriguez) is in Santo Domingo, but I’m trying to find the one. They all gave up a lot of walks and that was it.”
Rodriguez said he has a good batting team, but pitching is the weakness. The guys he used having been practicing.
“That’s the problem,” he said. “Those guys don’t practice. The Spanish guys are too lazy. All they’re doing is coming to the field and talk and talk but not warming up.”
In Saturday’s upcoming matchup between Storm and the Pirates, Smith said it will set a precedence for the league and they’re looking strong competition against his former team.
“It’s going to be the first time we’re meeting since the split and we just want a good game,” he said.
Pirates first baseman Rico Penn said he knows Smith will try to strike them out.
“He can’t strike out all of us,” Penn said. “He’s going to get some licks from that game there.”
When the league starts, Henley said he’d like to see games going off at the scheduled times and there’s more professionalism.
“It will be nice to start on time instead of just wasting time, instead of playing,” he said. “We really need to be consistent so we can have who’s interested in playing. We need to say the game is going to start a certain hour and everyone is there ready to go.”