By Scott Prater
The 50th Security Forces Squadron and 2nd Space Operations Squadron both advanced to the third round of the Schriever intramural softball post season tournament Aug. 10, setting up a matchup of the top-two seeded teams in the tournament.
Security Forces outlasted 50th Force Support Squadron 9-7, while 2 SOPS scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to snatch a victory away from Space Innovation and Development Center 9-8.
Dave McGee, batting for just the second time in the game, swatted a two-out single to shallow left field to drive in Roger Gallardo for the winning run.
“I think I have a few more gray hairs now,” said 2 SOPS captain Brian Meyers. “We wanted McGee at the plate though. He’s been a clutch hitter for us for at least the last three seasons.”
Thanks in part to some 2 SOPS fielding errors, SIDC took an 8-6 lead after scoring three runs in the top half of the inning.
Following a walk and a Texas-league blooper, Jay Worrell sent a deep fly to center field to score one run. Bill Scruitsky then stepped to the plate and sent another deep fly to left field. SIDC picked up two runs on that play, one on the sacrifice and another on a 2 SOPS infield error.
Needing two runs to tie and three to win, 2 SOPS was fortunate to begin the inning with lead-off hitter Jason Gravitt, who promptly drove a sharp grounder through the hole past second base. Michael Manor followed with a walk and Gallardo drilled the first pitch he saw into left field for one run. Jose Rosales earned a walk and advanced to second base one batter later, leaving two on base for McGee. Calm and collected at the plate, McGee delivered the game winner, a soft, but perfectly placed single over the SIDC short stop’s head.
That hit put 2 SOPS in position to take on the previous game’s winner.
Earlier that day, tournament No. 1 seed 50th Security Forces Squadron survived a scare from 50th Force Support Squadron.
Trailing 3-1, with little offense to show for its efforts through three innings, the cops rallied for eight runs in the fourth.
“We were fortunate to get a few walks in the inning and managed to take advantage,” 50 SFS pitcher Garrett Maynard said. “That gave us some energy to get our bats going.”
Jarrad Phillips started the onslaught with a blast to center field. Enrique Barrera skipped a grounder over the second-base bag and Randall Ruth drove in a pair with a liner to center.
In all, 50 SFS collected five hits in the inning, effectively putting the game out of reach.
“I was a little nervous that we might not get that big inning today,” Maynard said. “We had a big day hitting yesterday and sometimes you let down the next day. But, we came through with the big sticks when we needed it.”
50 SFS hasn’t lost since the first week in July and with just one loss on its record looks to keep rolling through the tournament.
It’s lone loss in the season did come against 2 SOPS, however, which just happens to be its opponent in the next round.
Both 50 SFS and 2 SOPS have an advantage in the double-elimination tournament as both teams enter the third round undefeated in tournament play.
SIDC and FSS dropped into the loser’s bracket with their losses and face elimination if they lose again.
The tournament championship game is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Aug. 13, with a second to start at 11:30 am if necessary.