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NEWS | July 12, 2007

Men's Softball: CES crushed by the Hitmen

By Tony Perez 37th Training Wing Public Affairs Office

In the bottom of the seventh inning, pitcher Cecil Rodriguez screamed, "Out!" as he caught first baseman, Mark Smith's hit that was coming right for his face.

The catch ended the 37th Civil Engineer Squadron's desperate comeback attempt and gave the Cryptologic Systems Group, "The Hitmen," a 10-4 victory on July 9.

"Cecil is a heck of a pitcher and we got some good defense behind him, so I think it looks pretty good for the Hitmen for the season," said shortstop Mike Leonard.

While Leonard gave praise to the entire defense, he could have taken some of the credit. Leonard came up with three separate 6-4-3 double plays to close out the first three innings of the game.

"Yeah, I was a little lucky," Leonard said. "They hit the ball up the middle for me and made it easy for me."

The Hitmen held CES to only three batters in four out of the seven innings. CES did not get through their entire batting lineup until the fourth inning.

While CES faced early batting trouble, The Hitmen came out in the first inning looking to make a statement. In the first inning, the Hitmen scored four runs led by third baseman, Joe Vela. Rodriguez and Leonard would also score as would catcher DeMarcus Mason.

CES played great defense in the second inning, however, as pitcher Ed Constancio made a great stumbling throw to first base to get the first out of the inning, and right fielder Eric Serton made a diving catch to produce the second out.

Second baseman Ruben Constancio closed out the inning with a running grab near center field.

The Hitmen, however, earned their name in the sixth inning, scoring six runs and burning through their entire batting lineup. Mason brought in two batters with a double made possible by Ruben Constancio's error to first base.

On the next play, Ed Constacio threw a wild ball to third base, allowing another member of the Hitmen to score.

The Hitmen flirted with the 12-run rule the rest of the game, but failed to force an early decision.

"It looks pretty good for us in the postseason," Leonard said. "I think this is the best team that CPSG has had in a few years, so we are going to go out there and try to win the playoffs."

At the bottom of the seventh inning, still trailing 10-0, a fan shouted, "This game isn't over."

Instantly, CES caught fire, scoring four runs with their first four at bats. The comeback, while valiant, was not enough as CES left one man on base in the final inning.

Ed Constancio produced the only strike-out of the game, as second baseman Ryan Phillips got caught watching two perfect pitches go by him in the seventh inning.