By NATHAN DEENJuly 17, 2013
FORT BENNING, Ga., (July 17, 2013) -- Eight hits, three errors and two walks amounted to a disastrous first inning for the 75th Ranger Regiment as 3rd Squadron, 1st Calvary Regiment, defeated the Rangers 13-3 Thursday at Knappenberger Field.
3rd Squadron nearly made it through its lineup twice while racking up 12 runs in the top of the first inning, which proved to be too much ground for the Rangers to make up, especially with the team down a few of its best players.
With both teams entering the game with two of the best records in intramural softball, a closer matchup was expected, but 75th team captain Dan Hopkins said some of the team's regular players were participating in an intramural golf tournament on the same day.
"We're (already) in the postseason and we're going to come out and show them … we're a force to be reckoned with," Hopkins said. "We always want to win, but most of all, we want to have fun. What we did get to do tonight was give everyone an opportunity to play. Sometimes the less-experienced players don't get the playing time. Tonight, they got the playing time they don't usually get."
Monty Adams, Rueben Gonzalez and Eric York each drove in two runs with a base hit (Gonzalez had a double) in the first, and aside from the eight hits, 3rd Squadron found other ways to cross the plate. 3rd Squadron loaded the bases and Rangers' pitcher Heath Bouma struggled to find the strike zone and walked Marcus Horton to make it 4-0. Horton scored from third base during a double-steal and an errant throw and dropped fly ball by 3rd Squadron later in the inning led to two more runs.
"It was just patience at the plate and taking our time and waiting for the right pitch," Horton said. "Those are the kind of innings that keep us going throughout the game."
Offensively, 3rd Squadron let off the gas, but did just enough defensively to not let the Rangers gain any momentum.
Trailing 13-2, the Rangers loaded the bases in the bottom of the third with just one out and the heart of the order due up, but 3rd Squadron showed good awareness as Horton turned a comebacker by Hank Towery into an out at home plate. 3rd Squadron got out of the inning with minimal damage when Bouma, the next batter, grounded into a 6-4 fielder's choice.
"That was big," Horton said. "There have been a couple of times in the past where we allowed two-out rallies and lose the game because of it."
York had a big game, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and Gonzalez finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
3rd Squadron improved to 6-2 with the win and the Rangers fell to 6-3.