Hot hitting keeps SUBPAC out in front of NCTAMS PAC

Lt. Mitch Hennessy smashes a long fl y to right fi eld that drove in two runs.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

After starting off with seven runs in the top of the first inning, Submarine Force U.S. Pacific Fleet (SUBPAC) kept the pressure on Naval Computer Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific (NCTAMS PAC) and rolled to a 19-9 mercy-rule-shortened win on May 15 in a Red Division intramural softball game at Hickam Softball Complex, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

SUBPAC ran into some hard luck earlier in the season, but the win on Tuesday night squared off the team’s record at 3-3, while NCTAMS PAC dropped its third game of the season against three victories.

SUBPAC pitcher Senior Chief Sonar Technician (Submarine) Chris Purdum went the distance to pick up the five-inning complete-game win, but said that it was the team’s fast start with the bats that set the team on its way to victory.

“We’ve been the home team the last three or four games,” Purdum pointed out. “Being the visiting team, getting to bat first and getting some runs on the board, made us excited and wanted to win.”

SUBPAC’s fast start in the first inning was aided in part by a couple of fielding errors from NCTAMS PAC, which placed the first two runners in scoring position at second and third with no outs.

With the table set, Yeoman (Submarine) 2nd Class Zach Sainato stepped up to the plate and promptly stroked a single to drive in two runs.

Two batters later, Sainato was ushered home for the team’s third run of the game on a base hit by Purdum.

Following the RBI by Purdum, SUBPAC kept its hot streak at the plate going by picking up runs number four and five on a sacrifice flies by Capt. Nito Blas and Chief Ma-chinist’s Mate Kishuan Forbes, before adding two straight run-scoring singles by Electronics Technician (Submarine, Communications) 2nd Class John Rodriguez and Senior Chief Fire Control Technician Tim Kearns that made it 7-0.

“I think our practices have gotten us to the point of where we’re comfortable hitting,” Purdum said. “We trust each other and that cohesion brings us together.”

In the bottom of the first inning though, NCTAMS PAC made it clear that the team wasn’t going down without a fight.

Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Jimenez Gonzales led off the frame with a triple and scored the team’s first run, when Justin Shoemaker, a military family member, lined a single to left.

Then a couple of retired Navy Chiefs, Jim Maddox and Lloyd Shoemaker, Justin’s father, blasted back-to-back doubles that scored three runs to pull the team to within three runs at 7-4.

Later, NCTAMS PAC added another run on a fielder’s choice to make it a 7-5 ball game.

Instead of folding under pressure, SUBPAC stepped up and continued to string hits together to always keep a step ahead of NCTAMS PAC.

SUBPAC picked up a single run in the top of the second inning on a triple by Electronics Technician 1st Class Robert Panko, before exploding for six more runs in the top of the third to put the game away for good.

In the third, SUBPAC got run-scoring singles from Rodriguez, Kearns and Sainato, but the big hit of the inning was a triple that was hit off the base of the right-field fence by Lt. Mitch Hennessy that drove in two runs.

The win by SUBPAC was huge for the team, as it seems to have pulled itself out of an earlier-season hole.

Purdum believes that if everyone shows up at game time, SUBPAC could be one of the frontrunners in the Red Division.

“We have the opportunity to do that,” he said. “Today, we had everybody here expect for one person. I think if we have that full team and we’re all here, I think we can perform at this caliber every game.”

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Category: Sports