GRAFENWOEHR, Germany - To say that the Schweinfurt Sallys played in a series of nail-biters before becoming the CYSS IMCOM Boys Junior Baseball Champions would be an understatement.

The team's uphill battle for the title began the first day of the tournament, June 12, with an exhausting, heart-wrenching 8-6 loss to Grafenwoehr. It was the Sallys first loss of the season. However, they quickly recovered by rallying to beat Vicenza, 7-6, later that day.

The Sallys hit another speed bump the next day. They were rapidly running out of pitchers due to the 40 pitches per 24 hours rule, and also because pitcher Vaun Stivers (son of Spc. Paul Stivers of 500th Engineer Horizontal Company), was benched due to a roster mix-up.

As a result, they found themselves down 14-4 at the top of the third inning against Vilseck, which was a remarkable reversal of roles considering the Sallys entered the tournament as the number 1 seed and were accustomed to trouncing opponents, sometimes by 20 points.

Morale was low and the usually good-natured teammates snapped at each over the smallest mistakes. However, this all changed in a stunning moment when, with two outs and bases loaded, a Vilseck power hitter hit a fly ball to right field.

Right fielder Dominic Adams (the youngest of five sons of Sgt. 1st Class Wayde Adams, 44th Signal Battalion), caught the ball with the grace of a pro despite the ball's best effort to roll out of his glove.

The Sallys went wild.

The boys were back to their usual high spirits, cheering each other on, hitting the ball well, stealing bases, and, of course, doing their signature "Stanky leg dance" while at bat and on bases. All of a sudden the Sallys remembered why they were there; not only to win, but to have fun, too.

Their newfound high spirits seemed to make them invincible. Even after one of Schweinfurt's' power hitters, outfielder and short stop Karrington Floyd (son of Spc. Matthew Floyd of 172nd Support Battalion), was hit with a wild pitch, the team continued to build momentum.

The Sallys went on a tear and scored 11 runs at the bottom of the third inning to win the game 15-14. Although the game only lasted three innings, it was called because it exceeded the two-hour time limit.

Despite all the drama and adrenaline, the team still had to beat Vicenza to take the title, and they did. With their usual crazy antics, joking, dancing and the high-precision performance of a well-seasoned team, the Sallys clobbered Vicenza 15-5.

When asked why they wanted to win so badly, the boys said they had to, it was Coach Doug Dow and team mom Angie Dow's wedding anniversary and they didn't have a gift.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16