By NATHAN DEENMay 24, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (May 22, 2013) -- 1st Battalion, 50th Infantry Regiment, rounded the bases five times in the bottom of the third inning Thursday and downed A Troop, 1st Sqaudron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, 9-5, to stay in the winner's bracket of the Commander's Cup Preseason Softball Tournament at Gowdy Field.
The first three innings were a back-and-forth slugfest between the two teams, who exchanged the lead four times in that span. But when bats cooled off on both sides, 1-50 proved to have the decisive inning and the better defense.
"The first three innings, we were going back-and-forth with each other," 1-50 team captain Juan Encarnacion said. "Our defense warmed up and locked down. We were able to get the lead and hold them.
"The sticks aren't always going to work all the time. You can go hot and you can go cold. Our defense held pretty well and it worked out."
The bats were pretty hot for 1-50 in the third as the team racked up seven hits in the inning and all five runs were batted in. First baseman Kenyon Gray's only hit of the game came at the right time as 1-50 took the lead when Gray hit a shot to center field that scored two runs. Adam Pettit finished 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Shawn Broe went 2-for-3 and an RBI.
The defense stepped up for both teams, but especially 1-50, which forced A Troop to four consecutive innings of getting three outs in four batters. Errors had plagued 1-50 in the top of the third inning, which resulted in two runs for A Troop.
1-50 added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as Tito Vazquez tried to steal second base, but the throw went into the outfield, allowing Vazquez to score.
"I told him, 'Hey it's the last inning, there are two outs, just go,'" Encarnacion said. "It's either hit or miss with that. Either the catcher's going to throw him out, or they're going to make a mistake. They've got to do three things: They've got to catch it, they've got to throw it and then they have to catch it again. He missed (the throw) and we capitalized by scoring another run."