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Rally denied: Buccaneers edge past Nite Nailers, 15-14

Sebastian Hernandez, player for the Buccaneers, slides into home plate to bring in a run for his team during an intramural softball game against the 23rd FTS Nite Nailers at the Fort Rucker Softball Fields May 10. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Sebastian Hernandez, player for the Buccaneers, slides into home plate to bring in a run for his team during an intramural softball game against the 23rd FTS Nite Nailers at the Fort Rucker Softball Fields May 10. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: May 13, 2016

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 13, 2016) -- The Fort Rucker Intramural Softball Season has hit its stride as teams continue to battle for position in the chase for the championship title.

The B Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment Buccaneers took on the 23rd Flying Training Squadron Nite Nailers, and although the Buccaneers earned the victory, 15-14, the Nite Nailers didn’t go down without a fight.

“I think it was a good game,” said Chris Connors, coach for the Buccaneers. “They tried to make a rally with some good hits and everybody fought through it. Some personal satisfaction for me as a coach was just that everyone was able to show up and play as a team.”

The Buccaneers were first to the plate and got off to a strong start, getting on base with the first few at bats. The Nite Nailers’ defenders struggled as they let the ball slip through their fingers, allowing the Bucs the chance to bring in run after run early in the game.

Although the 23rd FTS team managed to rack up three outs, it wasn’t good enough to stop the 1-13th from bringing in three runs before heading into the outfield.

The Nite Nailers took to the plate with an aggressive start to make up for lost ground and managed to get players on base by putting the ball everywhere the opposition wasn’t, and a triple allowed them to bring in a run, but that was as far as they would advance as the Buccaneers tightened their defense and sent them back into the field, down 3-1.

The 1-13th didn’t lose momentum as they managed base hit after base hit. With the bases loaded, they managed a triple to bring in three more runs to extend their lead. They managed a couple more runs during the inning to pull even further ahead before a play at third ended their streak, now up 8-1.

The Nite Nailers had a lot of ground to cover to catch up, but they showed their determination by getting a double right out the gate and then bringing in a run shortly thereafter to show they were still in the game.

Despite having two outs, the 23rd FTS managed to keep getting on base and brought in another run, ending the inning down by five runs.

The Buccaneers wouldn’t be intimidated, though, as they continued their onslaught, managing to keep the bases loaded to bring in two runs and a sacrifice before a third out ended their streak, leading 11-3.

In the bottom of the third, the Nite Nailers had to step up their game if they wanted to avoid the 10-run mercy rule that would take effect after the fifth inning, but things weren’t looking up as they managed to rack up two outs with two at bats.

They weren’t down and out yet, however, as they managed to keep the ball out of their opponent’s hands to bring in two runs before a pop fly to center field ended their time at the plate, trailing 11-5.

Going into the fourth, the Buccaneers still had a substantial lead but managed to rack up two outs right away with a strikeout and a pop up to left field, but despite the outs, they managed to load the bases and bring in another run before their third out.

This was the Nite Nailers opportunity to close the scoring gap, and they got off to a good start with a two-run home run to now only trail by four runs.

They continued their streak, managing to keep the ball out of their opponents’ hands to bring in two more runs before ending the inning within reach of the Buccaneers, 12-10.

The Buccaneers got off to a rough start in the fifth with a strikeout and a pop up to right field for two outs, and despite a base hit, another pop up to center field sent them packing with their first scoreless inning.

This was prime time for the 23rd FTS to take the lead for the first time in the game, but they were unable to seize the opportunity and also ended the inning with no runs.

It was still anybody’s game, and the Bucs were fighting hard to keep ahead of their opponents, and they did just that by bringing in three more runs to extend their lead to 15-10 before their third out.

The Nite Nailers didn’t show signs of slowing, though, as they took to the plate determined to stay in the game and they managed to get players on base to bring in runs to stay on their opponents’ heels.

The Buccaneers defense faltered with error after error, allowing the 23rd FTS to creep closer and closer, but their last-minute rally wouldn’t be enough to take the win as the 1-13th defense tightened to get the final out of the game and the win, 15-14.

This article was originally published at https://www.army.mil/article/167873/

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