Seven-run rally leads NSSC to win over NIOC

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

Chief Hospital Corpsman Steve Reeves blasted two inside-the-park homers to help Naval Sea Systems Command (NSSC) Longshots to a 14-8 victory over Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Victorious Secret on May 4 in an intramural Red Division softball game at Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Habor-Hickam.

With the win, NSSC has now evened their record at 2-2, while NIOC lost their second game of the season against two wins.

“It’s really nice,” said Reeves about playing at Ward Field. “You can run a long way once you get the ball past someone. You’re not going hit it over the fence. You’re just trying to hit it in the gaps.”

Reeves got the team rolling in the bottom of the first inning by powering a deep shot that flew over the left fielder’s head allowing him and fellow team-mate Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Adam Zimmer to score for a two-run lead.

Two outs later, Chief Electrician’s Mate Mike Reuss clubbed a shot to almost the exact same spot and circled the bases for a 3-0 lead.

Instead of folding, NIOC immediately responded in their next turn at-bat by scoring two runs to pull to within one at 3-2.

Chief Hospital Corpsman Steve Reeves slides safely under the tag for a double.

Chief Hospital Corpsman Steve Reeves slides safely under the tag for a double.

The big knock in the inning came off the bat of Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Kenny Williams, who drove a missile past the left fielder for a tworun, inside-the-park homer.

Back in the bottom of the second, the Longshots continued to pummel the softball around the spacious Ward Field.

A fielding error by NIOC placed the leadoff runner at third base and NSSC pitcher Senior Chief Machinist’s Mate Dustin Palmer helped his own cause with an RBI single.

Then after run-scoring hits by Chief Machinist’s Mate Dan Garcia and Zimmer, Reeves duplicated his first-inning heroics by hitting his second two-run shot of the game.

“When I was playing the out-field, I noticed that the wind was blowing out,” Reeves said.

“So I knew if I could get the ball up in the air and drive it pretty good, it was going to carry for awhile. If they’re not playing back, it’s going to go over their heads and I’ll be running for a long time.”

Two batters after, Electronics Technician 1st Class Kyle Long-necker followed Reeves by going opposite field for a two-run insider that made it 10-2 in favor of NSSC.

Even with the commanding lead, Reeves said he never felt comfortable and NIOC showed why you just couldn’t rest on a big lead in softball.

The team got one run in the top of the third and then in the top of the fourth, NIOC used small-ball tactics to cross home plate four times to pull to within three runs at 10-7.

However, the Longshots added two runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings to safely put the game away.

Longnecker said that while NIOC was able to close the gap on two occasions, he had confidence in his team’s ability to answer the call each time.

“They definitely have my back,” Longnecker said. “It’s a great team and we have great fun together.”

Reeves said that although the team struggled in the first couple of games, he believes that NSSC have turned the corner and is ready to play ball.

“It was a rough start,” Reeves admitted. “Everyone was just trying to get back into the swing of things. Last game, we started hitting pretty well and it continued this game.”

If the team keeps its eyes on the ball, Reeves said that NSSC should have a solid season.

“Just stay focused and not try to hit home runs,” he said. “Just hit the ball solid and drive it. Play aggressive, play hard and we’ll go from there.”

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Category: Sports