After years of coming up short, the Jose’s Escape Pirates are the new champions on the diamond.
Jose’s Escape won the men’s division finals for the 2014 fast-pitch league, put on by the Cayman Islands Softball Association. The Pirates – affectionately called Team Nicaragua by participants – defeated Latinos three games to one, in their best-of-five series. The winners claimed games three and four, 26-3 and 22-6, respectively, at the Field of Dreams over the weekend. After claiming game one in extra innings, the Pirates dropped game two 12-6.
League coordinator Marlon Thomas, who also played for the Pirates, thanked the fans for their support.
“Team Nicaragua won both games on Sunday and are league champions,” Thomas said. “Richard Wilson was the winning pitcher each game, with Daniel Taylor relieving for one inning each game. There were home runs by Johnny Johnson Sr., Byron Bravo and I in the first game; there were home runs by Johnny in the second game and a grand slam by Jordan Stubblefield. Erwin Freeland had a perfect day at the plate, batting 9-for-9.
“We would like to thank Mr. Jose Webster for sponsoring the team. We would also like to say thanks to the fans that faithfully come out every Sunday.”
The Pirates had gone at least three years without claiming a championship, being stifled by former three-time winners the Redimix Patriots since 2011.
As usual, Jose’s had done well in the regular season, dominating their series with Latinos and claiming the top spot. Jose’s Escape posted an eight-game winning streak to close out their campaign and earned an automatic berth in 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.
In the finals, Jose’s Escape relied on inspired batting performances from Rupert Whitaker Sr., Bravo, and Denis Martinez. While Donald Watler, Rod Jefferson and Luis Clarke gave admirable performances, the squad simply did not have answers for the Pirate attack.
For Johnson Sr., the triumph represents a time to boast.
“I don’t have much to say, I just feel good to have the bragging rights as champs after losing a couple times to our Colombian friends and Cuban friends,” Johnson Sr. said.