Americo wins big twice in the Cayman Islands

Americo Life Insurance bounced back from its first loss of the season by clobbering both of its oppo-nents last week. The Chuggers, 5-1, de-feated Deloitte 30-8 on Monday and came back on Thursday to crush UBS 35-6.

Americo coach Alan Markoff said the spirited Deloitte team was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

‘Because of our rain out last week, we had eight days to sit and stew on our first loss,’ he said. ‘The team was ready to take on anyone.’

Deloitte actually jumped out to 3-0 lead in the first inning, but the Chuggers immediately put an end to any ideas of an upset by batting around in the bottom half of the inning to go ahead 9-0.

The hits just kept on coming for Americo, who added six runs in the sec-ond and eight in the third to open up 23-3 lead. Americo then made mass player substitutions, who chimed in for seven more runs in the forth in-ning.

Offensive stars for Americo included Mark Wallace (4 for 4, 4 runs scored), J.B. Lovinggood (4 for 4, 2 home runs, 4 runs scored and 6 RBI, Steve Walsh (3 for 3 with 2 home runs, a double and 5 RBI and Mal Awe (3 for 3, 3 runs scored).

The game was promoted as ‘Throw-back Night’ with the Americo men wearing its uniform from the 70’s, with their shirts tucked in and their shorts up high.

Chuggers’ short fielder Rachel Smyth wasn’t impressed by the retro fashions.

‘I don’t know about Throw-back Night. We should throw them back all right,’ She said. ‘The guys just looked goofy.’

The game featured some innovative third base coaching by Stephen Ebanks.

‘Go home! I dare you!’ he kept telling runners.

Lovinggood reflected on the game afterwards. ‘Deloitte ordered a can of refried beans, and we delivered. We blew them away,’ he said. The game against UBS figured to be closer, but 2004 spring league champions were without several key players, who abandoned their team-mates to play floor hockey instead. One of the Americo squad’s only two losses during the 2005 spring league came at the hands of the UBS team, so the Chuggers were out for re-venge.

UBS won the coin toss for home team, but the Chuggers made sure that was the only thing they’d win on this night. After a pair of singles to start the game, Alan Markoff hit a home run – his first over the and Americo was off to the races. The Chuggers scored seven in the second inning, four in the third, five in the fourth, eight in the fifth and seven in the seventh.

‘Yes, but they shut us out in the sixth,’ said Coach Markoff. ‘I wish our offence could be more consistent.’

The Chuggers had offensive stars galore. Markoff was 5 for 6 with 4 runs and 5 RBI, Pat Haag was 6 for 6 with 6 RBI, William Foster was 4 for 6 with 5 RBI and Lovinggood was 4 for 5 with a homer and 3 doubles.

The Americo girls once again contributed to the victory, with Heather Noggle getting season, and Becca Bernard added an RBI single.

Coach Markoff was im-pressed by the girls’ play.

‘If our girls continue to hit the way they’ve been the last her first two hits of the two games, we’re going to be tough to beat,’ he said. ‘Our opponents scored 14 runs in these two games, and our girls scored 15 runs. Now that’s a ma-jor contribution.

Coach Markoff gave special praise to Laine ‘Twinkle Toes’ Smyth, who played despite suffering a freak pedicure injury.

‘A lesser woman would have landed on the Disabled List with a gruesome injury like that, but now Laine,’ said Markoff. ‘She’s a gamer.’ In a bizarre occurrence, Chuggers third baseman Mark Wallace managed to think he struck out on a 2-1 count, and then threw his bat in disgust, even though Americo was up 25-3. ‘I don’t like to strike out,’ Wallace said in his defence, apparently insinuating others do like to strike out.

Later, Wallace got hit on the head chasing a foul ball after the game.

‘At least it hit him somewhere it couldn’t hurt him,’ said Coach Markoff. With Lovinggood leading the way, the Chuggers brought their BGP average up 2.3 beers, as the team definitely earned its nick-name against UBS, which fell to 3-3 on the year.

William Foster praised the UBS team after the game.

‘You’ve got to give it to them for sticking this game out the way we were carry-ing on,’ he said. ‘We should just say ‘good game’ and apologise.’

Americo plays Things Caymanian, the 2005 Spring League champions, next on Tuesday night. It will be Mal Awe autographed sports bra night for the first 1,000 men in attendance.

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