Tournament Review Articles
The 2022 “Summer Slugfest” was held July 23rd at Big League Dreams Sportspark in Cathedral City. This annual event features “Unlimited Home Runs” on the field and “Unlimited Booze at the Bar”! Upon initial announcement, 12 teams were looking to get a piece of the action. One by one, team captains lost players, and had to bow out. In the end, 6 die hard teams were able to muster up the 10 players to field a team for the day. This event was a 5 game minimum, so all teams played 3 pool games, then were seeded for the double elimination brackets. Mother nature started off gently and the first half of the day was overcast with about 15 minutes of light sprinkling rain at one point. When the sun did break through the clouds it did heat up a bit as the day progressed.
With 6 teams entered, the Tournament Director (whom is borderline brilliant individual), made the decision to only use two fields (Fenway & Wrigley). This meant that every hour, two of the six teams were chillin in the pub with cold ones in their hands. There were many wives, girlfriends, kids, and entire families that came out to watch the action live and in person.
There were several hard fought nail-biter games during pool play, and when the warm up games were done, the teams were seeded and placed on the brackets. Pool play records were as follows:
2-1 LASD CJ Red
1-2 Unlawful Assembly
1-2 USMC Fisrt 2 Fight
3-0 CDC Bombers
1-2 Local 47 Storm
After pool play games concluded, all 6 teams were rewarded with an extra long “between games” break to relax and rejuvenate in the air conditioned Sports pub. Playoff games took place on Yankee and Wrigley fields.
The bracket play games kicked off with a couple of upsets as the lower #3 seeds topped the #2 seeds in the opening round. On Wrigley, #3 seed Local 47 Storm toppled the very rusty mixed cop team of Unlawful Assembly by a score of 14-11. Over on Yankee stadium, #3 seed LASD CJ Red doubled up #2 seed Pickles 16-8. Continuing on in the winners bracket Local 47 now squared up against the only undefeated pool play team, the prison guards of CDC Bombers, the #1 seed of the Red pool. The Bombers continued to bomb as the bats of the Storm were quenched. Final count 17-5 CDC Bombers move on. The other winners bracket semi-final game had LASD CJ Red earning a shot at the young leathernecks from Camp Pendleton (#1 seed from the Blue pool) going under the team name of “First to Fight”. The cagey veterans of the Sheriffs squad looked poised to claim another win, but the young guns stunned em with a 12-6 defeat. The Marines into the winners bracket final.
The consolation side of the brackets was now set and despite one loss, all teams had another shot at going the distance. The problem with many police teams is that players have to scram late in the day to get back for their swing shift or graveyard shift. So with duty calling, two of the teams lost players and were forced to bow out and live to fight another day. Both Unlawful Assembly and LASD CJ Red lost a few players due to shift obligations, and thus they exited stage left. Both of these teams said they had a ton of fun and will be back for more battles in the coming months. This left the cop-combo team of Pickles to lock horns with Local 47 Storm. Pickles defeated Storm earlier in the day in a sudden-death overtime one-inning winner take all game. Storm was looking to unleash some thunder as they sought revenge. Thunder they did, as they roasted the Pickles 20-5.
Over at Yankee stadium USMC First 2 Fight was looking to give the Prison Guards representing CDC Bombers their first loss of the day in the winners bracket final. The Bombers were looking to stay golden and they did just that as they toppled the Fightin Leathernecks 11-6, sending the Marines to the lower half of the brackets. This left only 3 teams gunning for Guns & Hoses Glory. First 2 Fight now had to take on Local 47 Storm whom was just coming off a 20 runs scored game. These two bulls locked horns on Wrigley field to see who would earn the chance to shoot the Bombers out of the sky. Local 47 appeared strong after their previous game, but the “Never say Die” Marines quieted the Storm by only allowing 6 runs plated, while crossing the dish 20 times themselves. Final count 20 to 6, the Marines earned another fight with CDC Bombers. Congrats to Local 47 Storm for their hard earned 3rd place finish in the 2022 Summer Slugfest.
The Bombers would have to be double-dipped, but no one better to do this than the youth and exuberance of First 2 Fight. The Marines were seeking retribution for their earlier defeat at the hands of the CDC team. The Bombers have remained undefeated all day up to this point. So the irresistible force met the immovable object on Wrigley field. The umpire screamed play ball and they did just that. This back and forth boat race ended with fans in the stands biting their nails all the way to the finish line. When the dust settled and the umpire yelled “Ballgame!”, it was CDC Bombers 12 USMC First 2 Fight 11. Congratulations to the Fightin Marines from Camp Pendleton for their 2nd Place finish on this day.
But, to the victors go the spoils and the 2022 Guns & Hoses Softball Summer Slugfest Champions were crowned to the CDC Bombers. For the victory the players took home a variety of 12 packs of beer and have custom team jerseys of their choice coming their way as well. Once again, Congratulations to CDC Bombers for going undefeated all day and earning the 2022 Summer Slugfest Cathedral City Big League Dreams Championship!
Despite the late heat, overall it was a good day on and off the fields. Saturday night all of the teams went out to local establishments and enjoyed nice refreshing beverages, live bands, and team camaraderie.
As always, we want to thank all of the Public Safety Players, the families, and friends that participated in the Guns & Hoses Softball 2022 Summer Slugfest.
Next up is “Cool August Days”, to be held in the much cooler coastal climate of Huntington Beach Sunday August 21st. See ya then!
- Team G & H