Jose’s Escape Pirates clearly have plenty of fight in them.
After being down 2-0 in a best-of-five championship series to the Redimix Patriots, the Pirates responded with an impressive game three victory and are a few outs away from forcing a decisive game five. The finals are for the men’s division of the Cayman Islands Softball Association 2013 fast-pitch league.
Marlon Thomas plays for the Pirates while serving as association president and league coordinator. He states that focus shifts to this Sunday.
“In the first game Jose’s Escape were victorious 13-6,” Thomas said. “Byron Bravo, Johnny Johnson Sr. and Rodolfo Whitaker played a big role offensively, and Rodolfo was the winning pitcher. The second game was suspended in the bottom of the seventh inning due to darkness. It was 5-2 in favor of Pirates. However, Patriots were at bat with one out and runners on first base and third base.
“The game will resume on Sunday at the point where it was suspended. If Pirates win, then there will be a fifth and decisive game there and then.”
Sunday’s games are slated to start at 2:30 p.m. at the West Bay softball field, next to the Jimmy Powell Cricket Oval. 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 Mark Chow, while Latinos showcased talents such as Yosvani Ebanks and Rod Jefferson.
While the regular season champs are under pressure to win, there is lingering drama over the way the finals have been officiated. Many players have found fault with home plate calls and game duration in particular. For Pirates star shortstop Johnny Johnson Sr., those issues are problems for both teams.
“There were a lot of missed calls by the umpire in the first game of the series and that has continued throughout,” Johnson Sr. said. “Colombia say they got most of the bad calls but we got some bad ones too. Colombia didn’t like the way last Sunday’s second game ended and they have a point when it comes to stopping the game due to light.
“Their argument is ‘the game wasn’t stopped for us, why stop it for them?’ But their game finished much earlier last month compared to last week. Safety was and is a major concern.”