Dirt Bags defeat Shadow Warriors 12-9
Story by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson
13th SC(E) Public Affairs
The HHC, STB, 13th SC(E) "Dirt Bags" softball team improved its record to 7-6 in a come from behind victory over the 712th Air Support Operations Squadron "Shadow Warriors" team finishing the 7-inning rollercoaster ride with a final score of 12-9 at the Rodney Evans Softball complex here Tuesday.
With a tie score and two runners on in the top of the sixth inning, Dirt Bags left fielder Rick Strong capitalized on a pitch high in the zone, driving it to left centerfield and recording 2 RBIs.
Batting first, the Dirt Bags capitalized early when extra hitter Esdras Garcia drove in two runs on an error by Shadow Warriors shortstop Brian Palma.
Dirt Bags shortstop Charles Cook added to the lead with an inside the park homerun past Shadow Warriors right centerfielder Will Taylor, notching 3 RBIs to his credit.
Strong flew out to left centerfield to end the top of the first.
The Shadow Warriors didn't take long to respond to the barrage of runs put up by the away team.
Left centerfielder Andrew Flores drove in first baseman Brett Ruhser with a double through the infield.
Palma, hitting in the cleanup spot, knocked in two runs with a single to left centerfield. He later scored on a throwing error by Cook.
Pitcher Ramiro Rodriguez scored on a dribbler hit up the middle by catcher Mike Westrich to put the Shadow Warriors up 6-5.
Ruhser flew out to left centerfield to end the inning.
The Dirt Bags managed to eek out a walk, but no hits in the top of the second.
Shadow Warriors third baseman Jim Silva knocked in two runs in the bottom of the second on a single to right centerfield to put the home team up 8-5.
The Dirt Bags put an end to the inning on consecutive fielder's choices hit to short.
Rodriguez only faced three batters in the top of the third, retiring them on a ground out, a foul out, and bases umpire Cecil Todd catching a runner off the bag before a pitch was thrown.
The Shadow Warriors padded the lead for the last time in the bottom of the third when Ruhser drove in right fielder Roderick Dorsey on a double to right field.
In the top of the fourth, Rodriguez had another 1-2-3 inning, though this time it lasted a mere 3 pitches. All 3 batters grounded out in the infield, two right back to Rodriguez.
In the bottom of the inning, the Dirt Bags defense woke up, turning their first double play of the game, a 6-4-3 play first baseman Jeremy Foreman scooped out of the dirt.
"I felt the ball slip out of my hand," said Dirt Bags second baseman William Hart, "but the first baseman made a heck of a play on it."
After being an integral part of the previous inning, Hart jacked a moon-shot over the right centerfield wall.
"When I hit it, I knew it was gone," said Hart, "I hit it right on the sweet spot."
"Hart's homer jolted the team, and gave us the momentum we needed to win," said player-coach Chad Fritz.
The Dirt Bags finished the top of the fifth inning a mere two runs behind the Shadow Warriors at 9-7.
The Shadow Warriors were retired on 3 fielder's choices hit to Cook in the bottom of the fifth.
The Dirt Bags tied the game at 9 all when pitcher Correy Harris doubled through the left side of the infield scoring runners from second and third base.
"I really didn't know it was the tying run," said Harris, "I was just trying to keep our hits going."
Strong drove in Garcia and Harris to take the lead, which they would not relinquish. The Dirt Bags finished the top of the sixth up 11-9.
The Dirt Bags added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when defensive substitution Mark Rodriguez drove Hart in from third on a sac fly to left field.
The Shadow Warriors attempted a late rally, taking advantage of a bloop single to left center and another error by Cook to put runners on first and second with two outs.
Ruhser, with one last chance to tie the game launched a grounder at third baseman Marcus Schwertner, who had two errors earlier in the game.
Schwertner defied his earlier ineptitude, making a ridiculous stop that carried him into foul territory, and running it back to tag third base, as the runner from second was bearing down on him.
"I just wanted the game to be over," said Shwertner, "I was tired of coach getting on my butt bout my defensive play."
HHC, STB, 13th SC(E) Dirt Bags first baseman Jeremy Foreman stretches out to receive a throw from second baseman Jason Roseburgh(not pictured). The Dirt Bags defeated the 712th ASOS Shadow Warriors 12-9 at the Rodney Evans Softball Complex here Tuesday. Photo by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs
HHC, STB, 13th SC(E) Dirt Bags second baseman William Hart warms up with two bats moments before blasting a 2-run homer over the right centerfield fence in Tuesdays 12-9 win over the 712th ASOS Shadow Warriors at the Rodney Evans Softball complex here. Photo by Sgt. Joel F. Gibson, 13th SC(E) Public Affairs