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3/3 wins Intramural Baseball Championship

By Pfc. Rich Mattingly | | May 7, 2004

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In the second game of the best-of-three Intramural Baseball Championship at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, it was gutsy defensive play and tight pitching that gave 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, the edge over the Marauders of Marine Aircraft Group 24, for a 2-1 victory, April 30.The second game in the series drew an even larger and more vocal crowd than the first. The rowdy fans weren't at all shy about sharing with everyone at Reiseley Field who they thought would be taking home the honor of being the best baseball players aboard MCB Hawaii.Chants of "air wing" and "thanks for the ride" sharply divided the dugouts in the friendly, but intense, Friday evening rivalry.After a close game on the 28th, in which 3/3 hung on to beat the MAG, 4-2, the crowd was expecting a show. They wouldn't be disappointed on either side of the diamond.Pitching for 3/3, the gifted lefty Mike Garrett quickly settled into a groove while the Marauders seemed content to try and play small ball, working the base paths with the speed of catcher Dan Edwards and the other MAG-24 speed demons.The Marauders' strategy seemed clear when their lead-off hitter, second baseman Ken Coquillard, attempted to bunt.As was so often the case this season, the first run of the night came signed, sealed and delivered from the bat of 3/3 clean-up man Kyle Truckenmiller, who doubled to center to bring in the first score of the game. Up by one run, the nervous 3/3 dugout got a little bit looser and a lot more vocal as the chatter increased.Seemingly unfazed was the Marauder's sideways hurler Larry Drake, who remained calm to the dismay of 3/3's growing fan base, and finished out the side after savvy play caught a snoozing 3/3 base runner at second.The Marauders got their turn to let their wood and aluminum do the talking in the fourth. Rolling over the rotation, Clow scored what turned out to be MAG-24's only run of the night after an overthrow by 3/3 catcher Nick Kitchen let him barrel home.Then things got a little dicey for Garrett as MAG-24 runners, arguably equipped with the best speed and signals in the league, surrounded him on loaded bases.Garrett, leaning heavily on his defense, escaped the inning with the score holding at 1-1 after a dribbling single was intercepted, and 3/3 got the force out at home.By the bottom of the fifth, both pitchers were starting to lose a little heat with arms hanging limply between throws. Batters on both sides knew that the game could break either way, and soon.The Marauders' defense was no joke, keeping 3/3 close to the bags all night. Things looked bleak for the MAG after O'Brian drove in another run. Kitchen came up the plate a few minutes later with the bases loaded, but Drake pitched through it once again to close the inning.The sixth inning was marked by a conference on the mound and a textbook 5-3 double play from Dunn to Dunham to support a rejuvenated Drake.Unfortunately for the Marauders, it proved to be too little, too late."It's been a really great season," said 3/3 Coach Dennis Minton."Intramural Baseball is really important for our guys to get away from work, and now they have something to show for it," added Minton.Members of both teams congratulated each other on a great season and said they looked forward to competing again next season.
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