Ho'okele Staff | Jun 16, 2012
With only one more week in the regular season, the Pearl City Peninsula (PCP) softball team inched one game closer to lock down a spot in the upcoming playoffs after beating the Direct Support (DIRSUP) Drillers, 15-0, in a mercy-rule-shortened Gold Division game June 12 at Hickam Softball Complex, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
This season, only the top four teams from each of the four divisions will gain admission to the postseason, which is scheduled to be held from June 30-July 1.
Sitting in the Gold Division’s No. 4 spot with a record of 8-3, PCP now only needs to knock off the 1-10 Killer Bees on June 19 to ensure their place in the playoffs.
While not taking anything for granted, PCP was beginning to feel the excitement of challenging for this year’s base championship.
“I think we have a solid chance of making a good run in the playoffs,” said PCP leadoff hitter Machinery Repairman 2nd Ken-neth Sturdivant. “We’re sitting fourth and we’ve already beat two of the top three teams.
“And looking at the brackets, at who we’re going to play in the playoffs, we got a good shot at taking it deep. I’ve been here two years and this is the best team that has been put together,” he said.
Against the Drillers, PCP went to work right away and delivered five runs in the first and second innings to jump out to a 10-0 lead.
In the first inning, after a single by Machinist’s Mate 1st Class James Kuech-mann drove in the team’s second run, Lt. j.g. Doug Hawk came up to the plate with two runners on base and drilled a line shot that got past the DIRSUP left fielder and skidded toward the fence.
The drive drove in three runs with Hawk circling around the bases for an inside-the-park home run.
“I was trying to get on it,” said Hawk, who went 4-for-4 at the plate with five RBIs. “I actually hit it off the handle. It was surprising that it went as far as it did.”
Then in the second inning, after the first two batters got out, PCP mounted another five-run rally.
This time, the big hit came off the bat of power-hitting shortstop Gunner’s Mate 1st Class Frank Ku-ras, who smashed a towering shot over the left-field fence for a two-run jack.
“It’s almost effortless,” said Hawk about Kuras’ pretty swing. “He’s a good ballplayer. He can do everything. He hits from both sides of the plate and is a real asset for us.”
PCP put the game away for good by posting their third straight five-run inning with a total of seven hits in the top of the third.
While the PCP bats were taking care of business, Hawk, in his first start on the mound this year, was impressive in keeping the DIRSUP hitters off-balance.
Hawk set down the Drillers in order in the bottom of the first and fourth innings and allowed only one hit, a single by Army Spc. Jerry Furst in the third inning, in throwing a four-inning shutout.
“I haven’t pitched since last year,” Hawk said. “I was working on the knuck-leball and trying to get them to hit it – relying on the guys behind me. Defense did a good job. Defense gets going and that gets the sticks going.”
The lopsided victory by PCP, a team that is comprised of personnel from SEAL (sea, air, land) Deli very Vehicle Team-One (SDVT-1) and Logistic Support Unit Three (LOGSU
3), should give them a boost as they enter the crucial game against the Killer Bees.
In order to seal a win next week and beyond, Sturdivant said that PCP will have to rely on one key component.
“Batting,” Sturdivant announced. “The games we’ve lost we batted like garbage, three runs one game and six runs another game.”