Maryland Softball Trip - The Red Team
|By: Bob Scheppler|
Its been 25 years since Gughemetti and the Red Team went back east to play in the IAFF/Muscular Dystrophy Softball Tournament. 25 years later at the 30th Anniversary MDA SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT, the Red Team was back. With a handful of last minute cancellations, we left the Oakland Airport with 11 players and headed to Baltimore, Maryland.
We opened the tournament with Team Oklahoma (a top ten finisher in 02) with a 14-11 win. Bob Kishi had 3 extra base hits to lead the charge and secure us with a late game victory. As we went into game 2 against White Plains, N.Y., we picked up Secret Service Agent Shane Francisco. We now had a bench player. With Shawn Zimmerman and Dave Smiley as our 1-2 punch, we got out to an early lead and never looked back, winning 14-6. In game 3 we met Columbus, Ohio. Geoff Quesada and his gold glove defense helped us 15 run our Ohio brothers (16-1) in 4 innings. As we went into game 4 we drew the small field where runs were at a premium. It was a battle of 3-0 teams and we fell 6-4 to Cleveland. Jack Taylor pitched a great game holding them to just 6 runs.
After a tough loss, we decided to take it out on Bridgeport, CT. Barry Lo, Steve Engler (senior man), Antonio Vernon and George Debrunner led the assault on Bridgeport by putting up 3 hits a piece. We won in 4, 19-2. Game 6, back on the small field against another Columbus, Ohio team. In an extremely tight elimination game that went back and forth, we took an 8-7 lead going into the bottom of the 7th. Thats when it happened. After a diving catch, a protest, several umpire meetings, an appearance made by the Director, hundreds of fans in disbelief, San Francisco came up on the short end of the stick and lost 9-8. We ended up going 4-2 and taking home the 7th place trophy, among 78 teams. It was by far the biggest and best tournament we have ever been affiliated with.
We would like to thank Local 1619 Prince George County of Maryland for hosting an unbelievable event. Lastly, we would like to thank the brothers and sisters of Local 798 for your support of Muscular Dystrophy.
|Photos provided by Bob Scheppler|