735th AMS overpowers SNIPE’S in mercy-rule win

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz
Sports Editor, Ho’okele

The 735th Air Mobility Squadron (735 AMS) rode a nine-run explosion in bottom of the third inning to overwhelm SNIPE’S, 13-1, on Oct. 7 in a Winter Softball League game at Hickam Softball Complex, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The victory catapulted the 735 AMS into a tie at the top of the league with a 4-1 record, while SNIPE’S is still searching for their first win of the season at 0-5.

“When our sticks are working, we’re really money,” said 735 AMS manager Senior Master Sgt. Chad Nixon. “Our defense has been solid in summer and fall league. It’s just we need to put the sticks together.”

Against SNIPE’S, the 735 AMS got on the scoreboard first. Retired veteran Jimmie Miller stroked a single to drive in a run in the bottom of the first inning.

SNIPE’S returned the favor in their turn at-bat in the top of the second inning on an RBI single by Gas Turbine Systems Technician (Mechanical) 2nd Class Kenneth Pelaez with two outs.

Tied at 1-1, the 735 AMS started to warm up at the plate in the bottom of the second inning.

Senior Airman Chad Gordon got things started by smashing a leadoff triple to set the table.

Following a walk to put men on the corners, Airman 1st Class David Clifford picked up an RBI on a single to put the 735 AMS back out in front at 2-1.

The team added a second run in the frame on a fielder’s choice putout to make it 3-1.

The two-run inning seemed to get the team’s bats on a roll, as the 735 AMS broke the game wide open in the bottom half of the third.

Two walks and a single loaded the bases for the 735 AMS with no one out, when Capt. Joey Henn stepped up to the plate.

Henn launched a towering high fly ball to left field that appeared to be headed for the team’s first out of the inning.

Instead, the ball fell untouched in front of the SNIPE’S left fielder and bounced away, which allowed two runs to score.

Gordon followed up with a long single that reloaded the bases and after an error ushered in another run, Clifford came up with his second clutch single of the game to drive in two more runs and a 7-1 lead.

The 735 AMS loaded the bases up for the third time in the inning and with still no outs, Senior Master Sgt. William Palmer delivered a single to drive in two runs.

An error and a sacrifice fly plated two more runs in the inning for the 735 AMS for a total of nine runs and a 12-1 lead.

While the 735 AMS managed to load the bases full of runners in the bottom of the third inning on a few occasions, it took clutch hitting by a number of hitters to keep the rally going.

“We don’t have a weak bat,” Nelson said. “We have great bats, so for all of them to be on in the same game, it’s great.”

Not only did the team’s bats have a great day at the plate, the 735 AMS gloves were also on display as well.

In the top of the fifth inning, the 735 AMS defense ended a solid day on the field by pulling off a triple play.

“I know we’re capable of getting to the playoffs and win,” Nelson said about the team’s chance for a pennant this season. “We thought we were in the summer league, but we just couldn’t put our sticks in line.”

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Category: Sports