Lackland Air Force Base, Texas –
Four runs score during the fourth inning earlier this week carried the 343rd Training Squadron to their seventh-straight win.
The defending base champions beat the 651st Munitions Squadron, 9-3, May 29 at Walters Field Diamond 1. The 343rd TRS outhit MUNS 15 to 11 as they raised their record to 7-0 and first place in the Division I intramural softball league.
Yet, it was not an especially easy game for TRS, particularly during the early phase of the contest.
"Everybody plays hard against us," said Clayton "C.J." Watson, TRS pitcher and coach.
MUNS smacked eight hits and went up 2-1 through end of the third inning. A base hit by shortstop Travis Moore with the bases full drove in right-center fielder Frank Rodriguez and center fielder Richard Villafranco during the top of the first inning. The TRS infield put together two double plays to help prevent further scoring, one during the first inning and the other one during the second.
TRS scored their first run during the bottom of the first frame. Watson walked and scored later on a swinging bunt by catcher Anthony Eaves with the bases loaded.
Then, after MUNS went scoreless during the top of the fourth, TRS came up with four runs and six hits during the bottom of the inning to take a 5-2 lead.
"We just had to bear down," said Watson. "We got the sticks going."
Eaves led off the inning. Moore moved from the normal shortstop position to a spot along the pitcher's mound to guard against another swinging bunt by Eaves. But Eaves hit away and pulled the ball clear over Moore's head into left field for a single.
"Thanks Travis," Eaves joked after he reached first base and looked at Moore.
TRS followed with five more hits to right field.
Right-center fielder Chad Welka singled. Eaves and Welka scored on a single by left fielder Jarrad Phillips. A base hit by second baseman Will Brewer drove in Phillips. First baseman James Broker slashed a double to drive in Brewer. Before the inning ended on a ground out, Watson singled.
For good measure, TRS added three runs during the fifth, and one more run during the sixth.
During the fifth, right fielder Pete Gonzales singled and scored on a base hit by Welka. Eaves singled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Phillips. Brewer doubled to drive in Welka.
Broker singled to start the TRS sixth inning. After Watson and Melenka singled to load the bases with no outs, Gonzalez hit into a double play and allowed Broker to score the ninth TRS run.
MUNS mustered only three hits after the third inning. They added their third run during their final at-bat in the seventh. Rodriguez singled. Villafranco walked. Left-center fielder Jason Barton reached base on an outfield error. Moore hit into a fielder's choice, allowing Rodriguez to score.