JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKALND, Texas –
The 737th Training Group put on an early offensive onslaught and never let up in its quest for the Intramural Softball Championship here, defeating the 343rd Training Squadron 9-2, in six innings Aug. 7 at the Warhawk Field.
After scoring eight early runs in the first two innings, centerfielder DJ Coburn hit an RBI double in the third that brought in extra hitter Tony Arbujo for the team's final run.
The training group's pitcher Charles Sparrow allowed the 343rd TRS' only two runs at the bottom of the third, but settled back into a groove and allowed only four hits in the last three innings.
"Our lead-off hitters set the tone for us," said Sparrow, a 737th Training Support Squadron military training instructor. "After that my job was to throw pitches that could catch the other team off guard."
Capturing the base intramural softball title was a long time coming for the 737th TRG. As a No. 1 seed, the group lost in the first round of last year's tournament to eventual base intramural softball champs, the 149th Fighter Wing. The 737th got payback by bouncing the 149th FW out of the first round this year, dashing their hopes for a repeat championship.
"We were hoping last year was our year," said right centerfielder Aaron Frederick. "It was hard to get people out at times this year, but as the season went along, we were able to build continuity and get a feel on how each other plays."
Frederick attributed the team's offensive vigor to still being fresh off a 17-4 win in the semifinals over the 668th Alteration and Installation Squadron beforehand.
"We were able to stay loose and continue hitting the ball," the 319th TRS military training instructor noted.
The determination to capture the base intramural softball title that eluded them is what makes this year's 737th TRG squad "the best group of guys I've played with," according to Sparrow.
"We fell short last year, but we had everybody back and we were able to build good camaraderie throughout the season and turn on our offense at a good time."
By participating in the base intramural softball finals, the 737th TRG and the 343rd TRS will represent JBSA-Lackland in the all-JBSA Intramural Softball Tournament beginning Aug. 19 at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston. They will compete against four teams from JBSA-FSH and JBSA-Randolph.
To continue building on their momentum and capture the all-JBSA Intramural Softball title, Sparrow said the team has to stick to basic fundamentals.
"We have to do hit the ball and play solid defense," the pitcher explained. "If we can do those two things, we have a shot."