For the second consecutive year, the Dragoons are Commander’s Cup Tournament champions
The 14th Military Police Brigade Dragoons claimed the 2019 Commander’s Cup Softball Tournament championship trophy Aug. 28. The team dominated from the batter’s box in the tournament final for a 19-7 win over the second-place 35th Engineer Battalion Warriors.
“We have nothing but fun. I think that’s the key to our success,” said Timothy Jenkins, who batted 4-for-4 for the 14th MPs in the final, finishing with two singles, a double and triple.
It was the second consecutive softball tournament victory for the MPs, who also finished the regular season in first place.
“We had about 80 percent of our team from last year and picked up a couple of new players who PCS’d here this year,” said player/coach Chris Ollis. “These guys performed like hell yesterday and today. They secured a spot for us today in the championship, and then we came out and performed just like we should.”
The 14th MPs first scored in the top of the first inning, with a sacrifice fly by Brice Schoener allowing lead-off hitter Shay Sinnateire to cross the plate.
After holding the Warriors scoreless in the bottom of the inning, the Dragoons lit up Sports Complex B with nine runs in the top of the second inning. A 2-RBI double by Loren Malwerta was followed by an RBI single by Ollis, who later slid home on a hit by Sinnateire to make it a 5-0 advantage. Jenkins later batted a run in on a base hit, then scored on a double by Justin Mabe. Mario Coronado followed with a 2-RBI single, and Walter Owens batted in the final run of the inning for a 10-0 lead.
The 35th Engr. Bn. scored once in the bottom of the second inning, with Robert Kilroy scoring on an error.
The 14th MPs added six more runs to their tally in the top of the third inning, starting with a sacrifice fly by Ollis that allowed Chet Weichelt to score. Shoener batted in two runs on a double, and Mabe, Coronado and Owens batted in runs on base hits for a 16-1 lead.
Brett Davis led the bottom of the third inning with a base hit for the 35th Engr. Bn. and advanced to third on a double by Toby Waters. Daniel Bacon then hit a three-run home run to give the Warriors four points on the scoreboard.
Neither team scored again until the top of the fifth inning, when Sinnateire scored on a sacrifice fly by Mabe. Coronado then hit a two-run home run to make it a 19-4 ballgame in the MPs’ favor.
“Honesty, I just went out there and hit the ball as hard as I could,” Coronado said after the game.
Trying to hang on in the bottom of the fourth inning, the 35th Engineers would add three more runs, including a solo home run by Xavier Mosely and RBI base hits by Kevin Briskin and Tyrell Tuiasosopo to make it a 19-7 final.
Overall, Ollis said the win was due to a total team effort.
“Throughout the year we’ve had a lot of people come out and participate. We’ve had a lot of support from our chain of command,” he said. “We’ve switched players around throughout the season, and for the tournament we put together a great lineup.”
Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Chief of Sports Coleman Swinton presented the second-place trophy to the 35th Engineers and the first-place trophy to the 14th MP Bde.
“I want to thank everyone for their participation this season. It’s been a long season, especially trying to get everything done with all the rain we’ve had,” Swinton said.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Sports Complex B, Combat Training Company won the tournament’s third-place game with a 15-8 win over the U.S. Marine Corps Detachment team, America’s 911.
The tournament, which started Aug. 20, included 11 teams that completed the regular season. The tournament was originally scheduled to conclude Aug. 22, but was postponed due to inclement weather. In the semi-finals played Aug. 27, the 14th MP Bde. reached the finals with a 9-6 win over CTC, while the 35th Engr. Bn. defeated America’s 911 21-13 in their semi-final game.
The softball tournament was the seventh and final tournament following a regular season in the 2019 Commander’s Cup Series, and the 15th of the series’ 17 events. The only contests remaining in the series are the annual paintball tournament, scheduled for Sept. 6, and the 3-vs.-3 basketball tournament, slated for Sept. 20.
During the trophy presentation, Swinton announced some changes were coming to the Commander’s Cup Series for the 2020 fiscal year, which will start in October with flag football.
“For FY20, I took it a step further. I increased the size of the trophies, I added a third-place trophy for each sport, and we’re maybe going to add an MVP for each and every Commander’s Cup,” Swinton told players. “We’re trying to build it up, and the more you participate, the bigger we can make it.”