JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO–LACKLAND, Texas —
The Hitmen of 25th Air Force and the Cryptologic and Cyber Systems Division came out swinging Aug. 17 to beat the Air Force Personnel Center in the Joint Base San Antonio Softball Championship.
The fiercest battle of the season, leading up to the championship win, was the third round game at JBSA-Lackland, according to Jose Vela Jr., one of the team’s coaches.
“We are down 9-8 versus the 737th Training Group, with two outs and down to our last bat, two strikes and Ed Leyba hits a line drive, home run to tie the game,” Vela said. “The next batter, Chad Brewer, walks, and I substitute with a pinch runner, Wardell Newell. I remember telling Wardell to run and score. Do not stop, no matter what he hears, since we had Michael Thomas, a good hitter, up for us next.”
On that play, Michael hit the ball to right center, a line drive, and it bounces in front of the right fielder, Vela said. “He throws the ball to the short stop on the relay to get in position to throw it home…. Wardell is rounding third base and the third base coach tells him to stop,” but Vela was yelling, “No, keep going, don’t stop!”
“The next thing you know, the throw comes in high and Wardell slides under the tag, and we win the game 10-9,” Vela said.
“This was the defining moment of this team and the season,” he said. “The rest was history. We won our semi-final and final games handedly.”