The San Quentin Hardtimers softball team ended its season on a high note with a 20-5 victory over the visiting North Bay Saints.
“We did well. We won more than we lost,” said the Hardtimers coach.
“Our record is 9-8 and one tie,” said Nghiep Ke Lam, the Hardtimers’ shortstop and assistant coach.
The North Bay Saints team includes members of Santa Rosa area churches. The Sept. 28 game was their first time playing on San Quentin’s Lower Yard. Skip Bergeron and Mike Schramm of Cell to Cell Ministry brought the team in.
The game was closer than the score reflects and had many highlights.
In the first inning, Chris Bogart hit an in-the-park homer that allowed Dean Cimino and Ben Gardezy to score for the Saints.
“With these guys, it really is about the team. They are committed to each other. It’s never one person responsible for a win”
The Hardtimers responded with a seven-run bottom of the first inning.
The Hardtimers added to their lead almost every inning, while the Saints’ attempts to come back were stopped cold by the Hardtimers’ defense.
Top of the fourth, Bogart smashed the ball down the third base line. Hardtimer Mark Jordan dove to grab the grounder and made the throw to first while lying in the dirt on his belly for the out.
Hardtimers John Windham, Ke Lam, Jordan and Blake caught everything that came their way.
The Saints loaded the bases in the third, fourth, eighth and ninth innings but only got two runs out of that, leaving 10 men stranded on base.
“We just happen to be hitting the balls where they are, and they’re hitting to where we are not,” said Steve Cabezud of the Saints.
Gardezy took one for the Saints. He was accidentally hit in the nose tagging out Alias Jones at third in the bottom of the fifth. His nose started bleeding and he was asked if he wanted to continue.
“I didn’t go through all that clearance and security checks to sit on the bench,” Gardezy responded.
The Hardtimers overwhelmed the Saints from the batters box. Rick Post led the Hardtimers, batting 1.000 with two doubles, three singles and six RBIs. He was followed by teammate Carlyle “Otter” Blake, who also batted 1.000 with one double, three singles and two RBIs.
“With these guys, it really is about the team. They are committed to each other. It’s never one person responsible for a win,” said Coach Dan.
“This is many guys’ program, their therapy,” said John “Yayah” Parratt, the Hardtimers third base coach.
Everyone is looking forward to resting and coming back next year.
“The off season gives everybody a chance to heal up,” Parratt said.
“We love this game just as much as they do. We hope to come back once a month,” said Saints coach and first baseman Jim Bennett.