Tournament Review Articles
The 2022 Guns & Hoses Softball Season Opener once again proved to be an action packed event with many tight battles and close scores all day long. This season opening event kicks off the first of several tournaments in the Guns & Hoses Softball tournament series for the 2022 season.
This years annual March Madness - St. Paddy’s Party took place on Sunday March 6th at the Fountain Valley Sports Complex, within Mile Square Park. This facility boasts plush grass, well maintained dirt infields, electronic scoreboards, tall 300’ fences, free parking, and playgrounds for the kids. The sun was high in the sky and the cool coastal breeze kept the temperatures in the mid 70’s all day long, as this event was held under picturesque softball conditions.
The bats were provided by Miken sports and these sticks were well broken in, as balls were launced over the 300 foot fences by the power hitters on all 9 teams that participated.
All major Public Safety groups were represented as we saw players from Police, Fire, Military, Corrections, EMT’s, Linemen, as well as the retired Police & Military veterans were in attendance also.
Each team started the day with two pool play games, then all teams were seeded and placed upon the single elimination brackets based upon their pool play record. The day was witness to many close contests and back and forth battles. There were only a few games in which team’s bats got hot, while the other team went cold. All of the 9 teams that participated were pretty evenly matched, so it was anyone’s tournament to win!
It was good to see many returning teams that have endured through the great Covid Shutdowns of 2020 into mid 2021. The 2022 season started right where the 2021 season ended, with solid games and great camaraderie between the Public Safety teams, as they fought for Guns & Hoses glory!
The usual G & H vibe was alive and thumpin, both on and off the field, with the pumpin tunes from DJ “Dirty J”, as many of the fans, families, players, wives, and girlfriends were caught movin and shakin to the tunes bumpin over the big speakers. Lampost Pizza Sports Pub was the (during) and (after) tournament hot spot and they offered up deep discounts off of their delicious pizzassandwiches, salads, and cold brews to the teams that participated. Lampost has been a huge supporter of Guns & Hoses Softball for many years now and their hospitality is second to none when it comes to taking care of the Public Safety teams that ball with Guns & Hoses Softball. Several teams made their way over to Lampost for great food and spirits, while the kids played in the video game room and the teams enjoyed all the sports showcased on the big screens. Big shout out to Johnny and the lovely ladies of Lampost Pizza!
Teams were locked in heated competition and had their eyes on the prize, which consisted of The big boy bottles of Jameson Irish Whiskey and a team Pizza party hosted by Lampost Pizza.
The March Madness - St. Paddy’s Party Pool Play games unfolded this way:
2-0 MCLB Barstow Fire
1-1 LA County Fire – County Bears
0-2 USMC Camp Pendleton – First 2 Fight
2-0 American Freedom Fund
1-1 CDC - Hard Times
1-1 Local 47 - Storm
1-1 Covina PD
1-1 LASD IRC - Slaps
Once pool play ended, all teams moved on to the single elimination brackets portion of the tournament. No matter what your pool play record was coming into the brackets, it was now a “lose one and pack your trash” situation.
This tournament was truly very evenly matched and any team could have gone all the way. So consistency was the key to advancing each round. As previously mentioned, there were many close games with tight scores that literally came down to one good or bad inning that decided the majority of these games.
With 9 teams total, there is one play-in game upon the brackets. This game saw the #3 seed of the B pool face off against the #3 seed of the C pool. This was a close back and forth battle, but in the end it was LASD IRC over the police combo team called Pickles, by a score of 15-11. This game set up the round of 8.
The quarter final games started over on field #2 with the #3 seed from the A-pool Camp Pendleton First 2 Fight, locking horns with the #1 seed of the C-pool Local 47 Storm. First 2 Fight they were, as the Marines from Camp Pendleton jumped out and never looked back, with a 22-13 victory over the Linemen from Local 47 Storm. Field #1 was witness to the A pool #2 seed, LA County Fire Bears, going toe to toe with Guns & Hoses newcomers and B pool #1 seed American Freedom Fund. The mixed ballers of Freedom Fund were hot during pool play to get the top seed, then the fund ran out, as they plated 14 runs, compared to the on-fire bats of LA County Fire, whom scored 19 runs. County Bears moves on! Next up, was a battle between a couple of #2 seeds, as Covina PD squared off against the prison guards of CDC Hard Times. The corrections team did indeed fall upon “hard times” and their bats were kept in full-lockdown as they were only able to muster up 2 runs in this game. That was no match for the 17 runs scored by the coppers hailing from Covina PD. The last quarterfinal game had MCLB Barstow Fire facing LASD IRC Slaps. The Sheriff team looked solid in their previous two games, but unfortunately were slapped around this game and only plated 5 runs, which wasn’t enough as the Barstow boys crossed the plate 25 times.
Only four teams remained and the sem-final match-ups were both decided by 6 runs. In the lower half of the bracket, the never die attitude of the Fightin Leathernecks came through again as they outscored the fire-quenchers from LA County 13-7. The Marines move into the finals. The upper half of the bracket was an all out fist-ta-cuff bar room brawl as Covina PD outlasted MCLB Barstow, with a final tally of 29-23, the dirty coppa’s move into the championship game.
In the final game the police team from Covina, got hot early and never looked back, as they plated 27 runs. The Devil Dogs representing the USMC are definitely not quitters and they battled hard, but in the end, only crossed the plate 16 times.
Congratulations to the small station team of Covina Police Department, for going 4-1 on the day, and earning the 2022 March Madness – St. Paddy’s Party Championship! For the victory, Covina PD was awarded a dozen large bottles of pure Irish Hell – Jameson Whiskey and a Pizza Party courtesy of Lampost Pizza.
We at Guns & Hoses Softball want to once again extend a sincere thank you for all the teams, players, and fans that participated in this years March Madness - St. Paddy’s Party Tournament.
We look forward to seeing everyone back again during the remainder of the 2022 Guns & Hoses Softball season.
The next tournament is the “April Foolz Frenzy” to be held on Sunday April 3rd and will again be held at Mile Square Park, in Fountain Valley. See you there!!!
- Team G & H