Hurricanes sweep Wildcats, repeat as men’s softball champs

The Hurricanes: back to back Island Softball League Champions. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Hurricanes wrapped up their second successive Island Softball League championship on August 29 with a 22-10 win over the Wildcats at Veterans Park. The ‘Canes took the best of three series, 2-0.

The Wildcats, whom former Times sports editor Don Lyons once referred to as the “devil may care, Goodtime Charlies” of Island softball, because of their endearing knack for having fun and their predictable unpredictability, gave a far better account of themselves than in a 24-6 loss on Monday, August 27.

Still, half a game does not a win make. The ‘Cats led 5-4 after three innings but gave up seven runs in the fourth inning and six in the fifth. They also stopped playing good defense and committed a half-dozen errors.

Thus, the ‘Canes celebrated a 20-2 season as the ‘Cats licked their wounds, still without a championship after so many appearances in the finals.

Contrary to Monday night’s opener when they put up eight runs in the first inning, the ‘Canes were slow to build in game two, settling for just two. James Holenko doubled to score Joel Rebello and Matt Goethals hit a deep sacrifice fly to bring in Holenko.

The ‘Cats fought back in the bottom half to tie the game at 2-2. Chuck Sullivan and Kyle Crossland doubled. Anthony Piland followed up with a single to score Crossland.

The second inning was scoreless. The ‘Canes took a 4-2 lead in the third. Joel Rebello singled and James Holenko took second on an error. Keith Crossland lined the ball to shallow center and made it all the way home as the ball skipped to the fence.

As they had in the first inning, the ‘Cats responded immediately in the third, to take a 5-4 lead. Chuck Sullivan, Andrew Williamson, and Anthony Piland singled. Noah Stobie doubled and drove in two runs.

The ‘Cats lead was short-lived, however, as the ‘Canes stormed back and outscored them 18-5 the rest of the way.

Mike Jackson doubled in the fourth to score Andrew Phillips and Seth Abbott. James Holenko hit an inside-the-park homer, James Rebello and Billy Jackson doubled to make it 11-5.

The ‘Cats got two runs back heading into the fifth but started to come apart defensively. Three errors and six runs later, the ‘Canes effectively put the game and the series on ice with a 17-7 lead.

Keith Crossland had the final word in the seventh with another ‘Canes inside-the-park round-tripper.