Grand Cayman may have new softball kings by Sunday judging by the way the Jose Escape Pirates seem inexorably destined to relinquish the Esso Fast Pitch title from defending champions Columbia.
In the second of the best of five series at the Field of Dreams, the Pirates overhauled Columbia’s early lead to run out 13-7 winners in a more keenly contested match than the previous week when they had it all their own way.
Pirates player-coach Marlon Thomas said: ‘It was much closer this week. They were beating us 4-2 in the second inning but by the third inning we tied it. It was in the fifth inning when we really rallied and scored eight and they only scored two.’
Pirates heroes were Alfred Flowers and Johnny Johnson Sr who hit two home runs each and once again the formidable Cuban hitter Eudelides Matos was in great form with two hits and two home runs. Thomas managed to score a hit and home run himself. He added: ‘Offensively we weren’t too sound but defensively we did well by making some good plays. Rupert Whitaker pitched well again. In the first inning he conceded four runs and then he tightened up his game. He has great technique which is what makes him so good.’ Whitaker’s lightning speed and accuracy always caused the Columbians problems.
Best player for the Columbians was Santos Castillo who hit a home run. Columbia’s captain Bradimir Robinson is not disheartened at going 2-0 down in the series. He said: ‘Their pitcher is good and he makes a lot of difference. We’ve got some good players and I’m confident we can still retain the title. I’m going to change the line up and expect to win on Sunday.’
So they square up again at the Field of Dreams on Sunday at 4.30. Unless the Columbians can find an extra edge it looks like the championship is going to change hands.
In the Cayman Islands Government Soft Ball League, the slow pitch version only saw one game out of a planned two because one team could not raise the minimum eight players. That was ironically the Sports Department, who also include the league’s co-ordinator Molly Anne Moore. She said: ‘We had to forfeit our match against Immigration Enforcers because some of our players were off the island or refereeing football matches. We hope to do better next season.’
At least slow pitch fans were enthralled in the other game between GIS and Planning in the closest match of the season. GIS were winning 10-1 in the first inning before Planning clawed their way back to 14-12 down. By the fifth innings they were tied on 17 all before GIS pulled away to lead 22-17. Then Planning scored a triple home run to bring the score to 22 each. Finally, Planning score the winning run to take the match 23-22 in an epic match. ‘It was so interesting and so much fun,’ Moore added.
Planning face Immigration next and the winner will play Computer Services in a best of three series. It starts at 4pm at the Field of Dreams on Sunday and is well worth checking out.