Hitmen sweep the Truckers
For the third time in four years, the C&S Hitmen are the New Providence Softball Association (NPSA) men’s champions, and they did it in impressive fashion, sweeping away the defending champions Commando Security Truckers in three straight games.
Each game of the short series was won convincingly, climaxed with a 7-1 clinching win on Saturday.
Alcott Forbes, who pitched all three games for the Hitmen, and earned the championship most valuable player (MVP) honor, said that the hard work that they put in during the season paid off. They will now go on to represent New Providence in the Bahamas Softball Federation (BSF) National Round Robin Championships, which will get underway this Thursday on the Banker’s Field at the Baillou Hills Sporting Complex.
“We worked hard all year, and it paid off for us,” said Forbes. “First and foremost, I have to give God thanks for giving me the opportunity, the strength and the fortitude to go out there and pitch three consecutive games without sustaining any injuries, and also to have fun and enjoy the game of softball. From the beginning of the year, we set out on a course and we put enough work in to go out there and get it done. Thank God that we were able to get it done. We don’t want to lose focus on the big prize. The game doesn’t change, and we want to be mindful of that. Also, the work that we put in all season will carry us to where we need to be. The goal is to win the gold at the nationals. That is what we are playing for.”
Forbes went the distance in all three games, ending the series with 37 strike outs and he surrendered just one run. At the plate, he scored twice in the clincher on Saturday. The Hitmen won the first two games of the series last weekend, both in shutouts, 8-0 and 5.0 shutouts, 8-0 and 5-0.
“I have to give regards to the president of this league (Henry Dean). This was his first year and he did an excellent job. He put his shoulders to the wheel and made it happen,” said Forbes. “Also, when you look at the Truckers, that is a good organization, but one thing I always believe in is discipline. If you don’t put anything into it, you can’t look for anything. You only will get out of this game what you put into it. Our team was out there every day, doing what it takes to win a championship. We heard all of the talks about the Truckers being a big team but they weren’t putting in the work like how we were. We did what we were supposed to do, and at the end of the day, we are the champions of the NPSA.”
The Hitmen didn’t produce a lot of offense on Saturday, but whatever they had was more than enough support for Forbes as he was masterful from the mound, mowing down batter after batter.
In the clincher on Saturday, Phillip Johnson finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs for the Hitmen. His two-run inside-the-park home-run in the bottom of the first inning was all the run support Forbes needed. Martin Burrows finished 2-for-3 for the Hitmen, and Hosea Hilton had a hit and a RBI in three at-bats.
The Truckers had just two hits in the game – one from Cardinal Gilbert and the other from Teran Wood. Shakeil Williamson scored their only run on a pass ball.
Forbes said that they are now looking forward to the round-robin nationals.
“It’s a changing of the guard of sorts. When you look at a pitcher like Edney “The JC Heat” Bethel – hats off to him for what he was able to accomplish in this sport and for his longevity. He’s a dominant pitcher and a very good guy. He said to me over and over again that I will be the one to take the throne, and just lead from the front. I have to show him that I’m ready to take the torch and carry it forward. I’m looking for Edney to come out of Eleuthera, and after the game, we could officially hand the torch over. We’re going out there to play softball, and the key is to have fun. With that being said, we’re aiming for the gold,” said Forbes about a possible match-up against Bethel in the BSF round-robin nationals.
Bethel has been arguably the best pitcher in the country over the past 20 years and is set to lead the JC Blue Water Jets to the Eleuthera title and a spot in the round-robin nationals.
Four islands will be represented in both genders at the round-robin nationals – Abaco, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama and New Providence in the men’s division, and Andros, Abaco, Grand Bahama and New Providence in the women’s division.