Red-hot NCTAMS PAC sneaks into playoffs


Shortstop Lt. j.g. Zack Reed is about to put the squeeze on an infield pop-up.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

The final three weeks of play in intramural softball have been like a slice of heaven for Naval Computer Telecommunications Area Master Station Pacific (NCTAMS PAC).

Needing a three-game sweep of the Red Division’s top teams, NCTAMS PAC accomplished the remarkable feat with a 10-5 win over the 15th Operations Group 15 OG) June 19 at the Hickam Softball Complex on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“I’m pretty sure we beat the top three teams going into tonight,” said NCTAMS PAC team captain Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Jimenez Gonzales. “Now with (15 OG), this is their third loss, so we jumped them and we’ll make the playoffs.”

At the beginning, it seemed like the game was going to be a pitcher’s duel, with two of the most durable and effective hurlers on the mound in retired Navy veterans Lloyd Shoemaker for NCTAMS PAC and Larry Smith for 15 OG.

While there was plenty of good pitching in the showdown, NCTAMS PAC got a huge rally in the top of the second and that was all that was needed to get the victory.

After a scoreless first inning, NCTAMS PAC came smoking hot in their next turn at-bat.

Right out of the box, NCTAMS PAC got six straight singles to take a 4-0 advantage.

After scoring one run, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Judson Meier laced a line shot to center field that drove in two runs.

The next hitter Master-at-Arms 1st Class Greg Bonilla bashed another single to drive in a run and give NCTAMS PAC a 4-0 lead, but the team wasn’t done.

With two men on base and only one out, Lt. j.g. Zack Reed got a hold of a Smith pitch and watched as the ball zoomed out of the park and over the left field fence for a three-run shot and 7-0 lead.

“When Zack hits like that, that kind of stuff just sparks everybody,” Gonzales said. “Everybody wants to hit the ball hard, everybody wants to score runs, so the more he does that, the more we get fired up.”

After going down in order in the third inning, NCTAMS PAC was at it again by stroking three straight hits to lead off the fourth.

Gonzales got an RBI on a sacrifice fly to left, and later an error on a pop fly between third and left field led to two more runs and a10-0 lead.

With the 15 OG on the verge of getting mercy-ruled, the team’s bats finally woke up in the bottom of the fourth, as Smith got two RBIs on a single to inch closer to NCTAMS PAC.

Then in the bottom of the fifth, the team made the game even more interesting as RBI singles by Lt. Col. Ray Handrich, Lt. Col. Zach Hall and Tech. Sgt. Lonnie Teriault cut the lead to five runs.

“We kind of cooled off and they were kind of chipping away,” Gonzales said. “That’s the kind of thing that scares you. But we just talked (and) stuck together. It was a big game, but we knew we were going to come through.”

Turns out he was right, as Shoemaker settled down retired six of the last eight batters to secure the win.

Gonzales said that even if the team dropped the final game of the regular season, he would still feel like this was a great year.

“I’m pretty satisfied,” Gonzales said. “We had five or six people that never threw a softball.”

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Category: Sports