Jose’s Escape Pirates are on the verge of a playoff collapse.
The Pirates dominated much of the regular season in the men’s division of the Cayman Islands Softball Association 2013 fast-pitch league. Yet, Jose’s Escape are down 2-0 in the best-of-five championship series to the Redimix Patriots, with games three and four (if necessary) scheduled for Sunday at roughly 2:30 p.m. at the West Bay softball field, next to the Jimmy Powell Cricket Oval.
Johnny Johnson Sr. is the star shortstop for the Pirates and he said his team’s series deficit stems from a lack of offense.
“We lost to Patriots 9-5 in game one and 10-7 in game two,” Johnson Sr. said. “Our team wasn’t hitting, we scored more runs than anyone in the league and we had the most wins. In these playoffs, we’re in a slump. We’re not as good as the regular season and that started from our big hitters right down. The big four are first baseman Santos Castro, third baseman Byron Bravo, Marlon Thomas and I. Santos and Byron were the top home run hitters in the season.
“The heavy hitters didn’t do their jobs as they did all year. Colombia did better than us, if we hit like we usually hit we would have done better. Many times we’ve scored over 20 runs.”
Jose’s Escape (affectionately called Team Nicaragua by participants) automatically advanced to the finals while reigning two-time champions Redimix (often called Team Colombia) needed a two-game sweep of Donald Watler’s Latinos (also known as Team Cuba). The Patriots relied on veterans to get past the Cubans in the form of Jonathan Whittaker and brothers Bradimir and Bradley Robinson while Latinos showcased talents such as Yosvani Ebanks and Rod Jefferson.
Last Sunday’s matches came down to big plays from unsung Redimix players like David Taylor and Gregory Cotes while the Pirates failed to get stellar efforts from brothers Rodolfo Whitaker (the starting pitcher) and catcher Rupert Whittaker Sr.
Johnson Sr. said victories this weekend to force a decisive fifth game next Sunday will hinge on better hitting.
“We’re down two games and it all comes down to one game. We lose then that’s it. We’re up against the wall more than we’ve ever been. We have to win our games on Sunday to force Game Five. We just got to do an adjustment with our hitting. We can win those three games. We know we can score more runs. We got to do it now. We got to get up and start hitting.”