PACOM/JIOC edges PHNSY to stay undefeated

Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Arroyo hits a double in the bottom of the third inning.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

Army Staff Sgt. Schaune Collins smashed a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning to lead Pacific Command/Joint Intelligence Operation Center (PACOM/JIOC) over Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard (PHNSY) by a score of 9-8 on May 30 in a battle of unbeaten Red Division intramural softball teams at Millican Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

PHNSY entered the showdown a half game ahead of PACOM/JIOC after trouncing Naval Submarine Training Center Pacific (NASTY PAC), 15-3, in their first game of a double header, which was held just prior to the marquee game of the evening.

The team could have expended their lead at the top of the division by a full game, but instead PACOM/JIOC got the win to become the last team in the division with an undefeated record at 7-0.

“We have a loaded lineup,” Collins said. “Everybody can hit. We’re a dangerous team.”

While the game had every appearance of a high-scoring affair, in fact, most of the damage by both squads was condensed into a couple of innings.

In the top of the first inning, PHNSY took the early lead by scoring two runs on a run scoring double and sacrifice fly.

The lead lasted until the bottom of the third inning, when PACOM/JIOC finally put some hits together to start a rally.

Lt. j.g. Brian Caplan got things started with a leadoff single. Then, after a ground out, Army Staff Sgt. Christopher Arroyo hit a line drive for a double to put two men in scoring position.

Tech. Sgt Drew Duguay followed up with the team’s third hit of the inning to drive in Ca-plan and cut the lead down to one.

Another hit tied the score at 2-2, and then with one out and the bases loaded, Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class Christian Hetzel pounded a deep ball to the fence for a sacrifice fly that drove in two more runs to give PACOM/JIOC a 4-2 lead.

Collins said that the great thing about this year’s squad is that you never know when the bats will start raking.

“It takes a lot of pressure off,” Collins said. “I’ll pop one out, but you know the next batter is going to get a base hit.”

The team’s bats went quiet for the next inning, but back in the bottom of the fifth, PACOM/ JIOC would ultimately score just the amount of runs they would need to earn the win.

Chief Cryptologic Technician (Maintenance) Darrell Herschell singled with the bases loaded to drive in the first run of the inning.

Then, with the bases still loaded, Collins walked into the batter’s box and basically announced that he was going to go deep, before he crushed a shot over the left-field fence.

“I even told the umpire that I was going to hit it a long way,” Collins said.

The blast made it 9-2, which lasted all the way until the final inning, when PHNSY awoke from their slumber in the box to nearly catch PACOM/JIOC.

It all started with a shot over the left-field fence by PHNSY pitcher Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate Charles Phelps.

The homer ignited PHNSY and almost rallied the team to a complete comeback, but instead, an infield ground out with a man in scoring position ended the game.

“I know, obviously coming in as the defending champs that we have a target on our back, but we have a good-looking ball club,” Collins said. “I think this team is better than last year’s.”

Team captain Mike Todd, a Department of Defense civilian, agreed with Collins and added that a repeat is definitely in the cards if everyone stays healthy.

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t be the top team at the end of the season,” Todd said. “We’ve just got to make sure all of our players are here.”

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Category: Sports