MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CETNER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- The Combat Center hosted the 2004 Marine Corps Men's West Coast Regional Softball Tournament Aug. 9-11.
The double-elimination tournament featured 10 teams comprised of Marines from West Coast Marine Corps installations. The tournament concluded in a final championship game, which pitted the top finishers in the winning and losing brackets against each other.
Marines from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., brought home the 2004 trophy in the end with a 9-3 battle against the team from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Both teams held a strong defense throughout the first two innings of the championship game. Camp Pendleton broke a scoreless tie in the top of the 3rd inning only to have Miramar answer back in the bottom of the 4th inning with three runs of their own to take the 3-2 lead.
The game remained tight until the bottom of the 6th inning when Miramar broke through with six consecutive runs making it 9-2 to put the game out of reach. Camp Pendleton fought back with a run in the top of the 7th, but it wasn't enough for a victory.
Camp Pendleton's dead halt against Miramar's offense gave Miramar the West Coast Regional Championship for the third year in a row.
"Before we even came here we knew we had a good chance of winning the tournament," said Tyron "Tybo" Butler, first basemen, Miramar. "It was a little more difficult than I expected though. There was some good competition this time around. We have a lot of veterans on the team, but we also have many of them deployed. It costs us to keep rookies on the team, but they stepped up. Next year we're coming back for a four-peat. We have eight returning veterans giving us unlimited power."
Six Miramar softball players will compete on the All-Marine softball team.
Home team 29 Palms came through from the losers bracket to go against two-time regional champs, Miramar. 29 kicked off the game scoring two quick runs by Shawn A. Tate, the leadoff batter, followed by Thomas A. Ferris, 29's catcher. Miramar scored a follow-on run in the first inning and backed that up with two in the second, bringing the score 3-2. 29 Palms brought in two runs in the third inning to take the lead by one. Miramar came back with a run from Tybo to tie the two teams. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the 6th inning when Miramar picked up the pace with three runs to give them the winning score. 29 Palms attempted to catch up and scored two runs, again by the two leadoff hitters, Tate and Ferris, but the team's efforts came up short, and Miramar won with the final score being 6-7.
"Without a doubt it was my rookies that pulled through," said Joe Evans, coach, Miramar. "Each year we've had a different crew, but the core of the team has been together for four years. It was hot, the wind was ridiculous, and the guys adjusted. Hats off to the players with their line drives and base hits."