Scorpions sting Jager Bombers

A big reason why sports are so intriguing is because often times things do not go to script. Favourites fall and in many disciplines the under dogs come out on top.

The PricewaterhouseCoopers Scorpions can identify with those facts in a big way this week. That is because the co-ed softball team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport. The Scorpions defeated the Billy Bones Jager Bombers 14-10 in the first round of the 2011 Winter Adult Co-ed Softball League playoffs, put on by the Cayman Islands Little League.

George Town’s Field of Dreams saw the bottom seed in the C league take down the top seed thanks to strong fielding and timely batting. PWC, steadied by the likes of Paul Francis and Thomas Dillon, would overcome a 1-11 regular season showing to down a side that went 11-1 under the guidance of captain Tony Mark. The loss would be the last for Billy Bones players Eric Stachelski (headed to the US) and Jeremy Forbes (on a company transfer to South America) who are leaving the island.

Johan Bruwer captained the Scorpions to the upset and was the starting pitcher. Bruwer, who hails from South Africa, states the victory is one of more to come this month.

“It was an amazing game, what else is there to say?” Bruwer said. “Definitely it was the upset of the season. But we have two more games to play. We have to get to the final and once we do we can win it all. Our win on Monday proved everyone is gelling now.

“It was an all-around performance. Paul did well in all phases, David Kay made a key catch at third base, Matt Schneider batted well and Azelle Kay literally took a hit for the team. My pitching was good and the other team didn’t get big hits against us. At the end of the day beating the top seeded team was so sweet. They beat us in all of our regular season matches but that only made us tougher.

“We have two more games and then we will be done. It was a great feeling on Monday but everyone has to remember that feeling so that we can really celebrate when we win it all.”

The Scorpions’ upset was one of three results on Monday’s initial slate of playoff matches. The other results saw A league powerhouse Home Gas take down Coors Light Chuggers 14-3 while B league newcomers the A.L. Thompson Drills pounded Ogiers Bats from Hell 15-7.

For the record this reporter did more than watch the Scorpions match. I served as starting right fielder, had a few walks at the plate and made the game-winning catch.

However one of the unsung heroes from the game was shortstop Ioto Iotov, who made some key defensive plays late in the match. Iotov, 26, hails from South Africa and has been in Cayman since the start of the year. The PWC Assurance Senior states the victory was solid and he feels more comfortable in the sport.

“Our match was won by team effort and a can-do attitude,” Iotov said. “Just like the Jamaican bob sled team who turned up to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics with an old sled and insufficient gear, the Scorpions turned up to the field without any equipment and short a few players. Like the Jamaican team, we did not let adversity dampen our spirits. Through a positive attitude and sheer determination we pulled through as a team and once again had the sweet taste of victory.

“There were moments of individual excellence, you had the game-saving catch in deep right field that will go down in the annuals of softball history. David had lightning reflexes and the batting prowess of Paul came through. However it was ultimately the collective team effort that assured the victory. Beware: the Scorpions have their stingers up and are ready to strike again.

“For me personally these are my first couple months in Cayman since coming in February. I’m really enjoying it. In South Africa no one really plays softball. Some of us have bad habits from fielding in cricket. But I’m really enjoying the sport now.”