FREQS & GCCS use steady pace to beat NHCH

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Lance Hutchins launches a double to drive in two runs.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

While FREQS & GCCS have often compiled huge innings to beat back their opponents, the team used a nickel-and-dime approach to pile up the runs and defeat Naval Health Clinic Hawaii (NHCH), 10-0, in a battle of third-place Red Division squads on July 11 at Millican Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

FREQS & GCCS scored one run in the first, two runs in the second, and three runs in the third, before scoring six more times in the bottom of the fourth en route to the mercy-rule victory that was called after five innings.

Both teams entered the game in a tie for third with identical 6-3 records, but FREQS & GCCS leaped ahead of NHCH by a game in the standings with the win.

“Our approach to the plate is not hitting pop flies,” said Information Systems Technician 1st Class Blake Wilson, who drove in a couple of runs in his first two at-bats. “Getting base hits is how you win it. Not only that, our defense really played well today.”

While no batters went yard (hit a homerun), the team’s steady approach at the plate provided more than enough runs to get the win.

Retired Chief Information Systems Technician Jim Maddox put FREQS & GCCS on the scoreboard with a run-scoring double in the first inning.

More base hits came along in the bottom of the second, as the team started to get warmed up at the plate.

With one out and a runner at second, Wilson picked up his first RBI of the game on a single to left.

Pitcher retired Navy veteran Lloyd Shoemaker drove in the second run of the frame with an RBI single that gave FREQS & GCCS a 3-0 lead after two innings.

FREQS & GCCS continued with their steady pace at the plate by tallying three more times in the bottom of the third.

Information Systems Technician 1st Class Nicholas Cohrs drove in a runner from third on a single for the first run and a fielding error by NHCH allowed the second run to score.

Wilson, in his second at-bat, stroked another single to drive in his second run of the game.

After scoring runs in each turn at-bat, FREQS & GCCS ramped up their offense to put them on the verge of the mercy-rule finish.

All-Navy slugger Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Lance Hutchins slammed a double to drive in two runs, while Jim Maddox and Cohrs picked up a run each to take a 10-0 lead.

Then, in the top of the fifth, Shoemaker closed out a gem from the pitchers mound by sending NHCH down in order to end the game.

“Believe it or not, you wouldn’t think that an ace would exist in slowpitch, but Shu is that guy,” Wilson said. “He gets it down and when the count is high, he’ll get you outs.”

Wilson noted that with the bats working and Shoemaker throwing strikes, the final element to lock down any game is the team’s defense.

Hutchins anchors down the defense from shortstop, but he isn’t the only player who can do it with the glove.

“I think a lot of it (fielding) is the skill of the team,” Wilson said. “A lot of it comes natural to these guys and we’re lucky to have people like Hutch, Peeler (Staff Sgt. Dick), Shu and Jim.”

The win over NHCH may have locked FREQS & GCCS into the playoffs, where Wilson said he hopes the team continues its recent hot streak.

“The key is the bats,” Wilson said. “Tonight, it really showed up. Everyone has been working, so hopefully we can pull it off in the playoffs and win the league.”

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Category: Sports