Tournament Review Articles
There were 5 teams prepped to duke it out after the sign up deadline. Several more teams tried to get enough bodies to field a team, but fell short. This was not necessarily a bad thing for the teams that did sign up. We had the time and the fields, so all teams got a whopping “4 Pool Play games”, followed by single elimination brackets. So each team played a minimum of 5 games! Games kicked off at 0830 Sunday morning and continued until around 1730 hours, when the Champions were crowned. The fields were blessed with some nice coastal breezes and lower temperatures as this one was held close to the Pacific Ocean, at the Huntington Beach Sportsplex.
We welcomed two teams back to the G & H circuit that we haven’t seen in a few years (Covina PD and Costa Mesa Fire).
All teams played the 4 round robin games and then based upon pool play records, the teams then were seeded, and moved on to the single-elimination brackets.
When the dust settled the pool play wins/losses were as follows:
1 – Unlawful Assembly 3-1
2 – C.O.V. 3-1
3 – Sting 2-2
4 – Local 47 1-3
5 – Costa Mesa Fire 1-3
After pool play concluded, all teams (and even some wives, girlfriends, friends and family) gathered on the Championship Field to line up in the infield. Everyone in attendance observed a 60 second moment of silence to pay tribute to all of the Public Safety First Responders and civilians that lost their lives on September 11th 2001. After the Moment of Silence concluded, the short-stop from team Sting, rallied everyone in a huddle, spoke some very moving words about all of the players being brethren as First Responders. He then led the players in a chant on the count of three…1…2…3 “U.S.A.”!!! It was truly awesome to be a part of those few minutes on Field #7 in Huntington Beach on this day.
Let the playoffs begin! Now, it was a win or go home scenario once bracket play started. There were some close victories and also some lop-sided wins as several of the teams were battling injuries or losing key players that had to head into work (which is very typical in the Public Safety Softball realm).
First up was the #5 seed Costa Mesa Fire avenging an earlier loss to #4 seed Local 47 15-12. The scrappy fire team had only 9 players in the field but still managed to seal the victory. Over on field #8, the #2 seed Covina PD squeaked out a very close win with a 7-6 score over the #3 seed Sting. Still with only 9 players, Costa mesa Fire gave the rogue Officers and #1 seed Unlawful Assembly a run for their money and made a close game of it. In the end, Unlawful Assembly secured the game with an 18-13 win. This set up the Championship game between Covina PD and Unlawful Assembly. The finals were set and it was a re-match of an earlier pool play game in which Unlawful Assembly bested Covina 21-7. The re-match and the opportunity to avenge that earlier defeat was precisely what Covina PD did, as their bats got super hot from the very first inning, and they didn’t look back. Unlawful Assembly hit the ball hard, but it was either right at a defensive player or a deep fly out. Final count was a 23-6 victory for the boys from Covina PD! Covina PD walked away with the 2019 9-11 Memorial title. Congratulations to Covina PD for battling all day long and claiming the Championship as their own.
All in all it was a great day of Public Safety Softball competition and camaraderie. The weather was unbeatable and DJ “Rugburn Supreme” was bumpin the jams while the boys were ballin-it-up on the diamonds!
The next G & H tournament will be the annual “Oktoberfest” and will be held at the Huntington Beach Sportsplex (upper half Fenced Fields) on Sunday Oct. 6th.
We appreciate and value your support and we look forward to seeing everyone next month at the “Oktoberfest” event.
- Team G & H