Latinos even series with Pirates

Cayman’s fast-pitch softball crown remains very much up for grabs.  

The finals for the men’s division of the 2014 fast-pitch league, put on by the Cayman Islands Softball Association, is tied at one game apiece between Latinos and Jose’s Escape Pirates. The best-of-five series shifts to Games three and four on Oct. 26 with a double-header at the Field of Dreams from 2:30 p.m. 

League coordinator Marlon Thomas says the series outcome will hinge on consistency. 

“There was a split in the games on Sunday, the championship is up for grabs,” Thomas said. “Both teams performed well and this coming Sunday can be decisive. However, the 2014 trophy will be for the team that performs well consistently.” 

While the Pirates – affectionately called Team Nicaragua by participants – dominated the regular season series between the two squads, the finals are proving to be a different story. Game one went to extra innings, with Jose’s escaping with a dramatic win. The second contest saw a tired Pirates side falter to their opponents. 

Thomas, who suits up for Jose’s Escape, said a number of players have stepped up in the series thus far. 

“Team Nicaragua won the first game, but had to play two extra innings. Rupert Whitaker Sr hit in the winning run in the ninth inning. Richard Wilson was the winning pitcher. Johnny Johnson Sr and Byron Bravo had several hits, including a home run. Denis Martinez, Erwin Freeland and I had a couple of hits and scored runs. In the second game, Latinos won 12-6. Donald Watler was the winning pitcher and had a couple of hits and scored. Rod Jefferson and Neil Henry performed well offensively in both games.” 

Jose’s sport a veteran squad that lost in last year’s final and the likes of pitcher Rodolfo Whitaker are highly motivated to prevail this time around. Latinos might just have the right mix, with players like Luis Clarke, to frustrate the Pirates once again. 

It should be noted that the Pirates went into the finals as favorites. Jose’s Escape won the regular season crown, posting an eight-game winning streak to close out their campaign, and earned an automatic berth into the finals. Latinos, who have been referred to as Team Cuba in the past, had to fight their way through; edging reigning three-time champions the Redimix Patriots (affectionately called Team Colombia) in the opening three-game playoff series. 

Rod-Jefferson

Rod Jefferson is a fearsome batter. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES