The 14th Military Police Brigade earned the two biggest wins of their season Sept. 5: a 10-4 victory over the 94th Engineer Battalion to advance to the championship game, followed by a 12-10 win over Combat Training Company to bring home the 2018 Commander’s Cup Softball Tournament trophy.
“We did outstanding,” Ryan Blas, 14th MP Bde. player/coach said. “We just pulled together; worked as a team, and we hit the ball in the right spots.”
Timothy Jenkins, who hit key home runs in both games said that CTC was, “a tough team and a good team.”
“We just came out hitting a little bit better,” Jenkins said.
The weather was humid but rain-free, a welcome respite for the final night of the tournament, which had been delayed two consecutive weeks by inclement weather at Sports Complex B.
Facing the second-seeded 94th Engineers in the semi-final, the 14th MP Bde. sealed the win with a six-run rally in the fourth inning, led by Jenkins’ 2-run home run.
“I just sat back on it, waited on it and hit a dinger,” Jenkins said when asked about the hit.
In the championship game, CTC jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on RBIs by Chris Ellis and Zac Carter in the top of the first inning.
In the bottom of the inning, Brice Schoener batted in two runs to tie the game, and Justin Leon Guerrero batted in two more to take a 4-2 lead for the 14th MPs.
Orlando Galarza narrowed the gap with an RBI for CTC in the top of the second inning.
The MPs rallied in the bottom of the second inning, starting with an RBI single by Ryan Blas. Jenkins followed with a 2-run home run to give the 14th MP Bde. a 7-3 lead. Christopher Lyon scored on a dropped ball, and an RBI double by Schoener gave the brigade a six-run cushion, leading 9-3.
CTC would come back to tie the game over two innings. Early in the top of the third inning, John Dalpino hit a 2-RBI double, and Gregory White followed up late in the inning with an RBI double to make it a 9-6 game. In the top of the fourth inning, Rick Laird hit a 3-run home run to tie the contest 9-9.
The 14th MP Bde. wasted little time getting back in the lead, however. Sherel Sinitiere led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double, then went home on a base hit by Blas. Zack Marciano then hit an RBI single that sent Blass home, and Schroener followed with an RBI base hit that allowed Marciano to score.
Neither team scored again until the top of the sixth inning, when, trailing 12-9, CTC tried to get a rally going. But Laird, who led the inning off with a triple, was tagged out at home by 14th MP Bde. catcher Joseph Reynolds. After a second out and the one-hour time limit having expired, John McClung hit an RBI base hit to make it a 12-10 ballgame, but the following batter hit a high fly that was easily handled by the infield, and the game ended.
Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Chief of Sports Coleman Swinton addressed both teams prior to the trophy presentation by Sports Department representative Luis Padilla.
“On behalf of MWR, I want to thank all the players for coming out and participating,” Swinton told the teams. “You all did great throughout the season.”
Following the presentation, Col. Curtis Schroeder, 14th MP Bde. commander and a member of the team, said he was definitely proud of his team.
“We have a motto in this brigade: We strive for perfection and we settle for excellence. That’s what we did tonight,” Schroeder said.
Prior to the championship, the 94th Engr. Bn. won the tournament’s third-place game by forfeit.
Also receiving a trophy Sept. 5 was the Recreation League champions, Not Forgotten. The team finished with a record of 7-0. The team included members from multiple units, including both the 14th MP Bde. and CTC squads.