Tournament Review Articles

9-11 Tourney Recap 2023

9 11 national anthem 9 23Teams paying tribute to the victims of 9-11 during the Guns & Hoses 9-11 Memorial Tournament

Public Safety Teams gather in Tustin CA for 9-11 Memorial Tournament

There were 8 teams that secured ten players, and were prepared to duke it out on September 16th 2023, at the Tustin Sports Park. The softball battles started at 0830 Saturday morning and continued until around 1800 hours when the Champions of the day were crowned. The softball conditions were blessed with some easy, mellow weather as most of the day was overcast and the temps only reached the low 70s in the heart of Orange County, CA.

The teams that were able to get enough players and hang in there, were broken down by caliber of play into two very evenly matched pools. There was a new team to the G & H circuit this month as we welcomed the San Bernardino PD Bombers to the G & H scene.

All teams played two round-robin games and then based on pool play records, the teams were seeded and moved on to the single-elimination brackets.

When the dust settled the pool play wins/losses and seeding were as follows:

POOL A
#1 – 2-0 Pickles
#2 – 1-1 Covina PD
#3 – 1-1 San Bernardino PD Bombers
#4 – 0-2 Local 47 Storm

POOL B
#1 – 2-0 USMC Double Tap
#2 – 1-1 LASD Slaps
#3 – 1-1 CDCR Cali Bombers
#4 – 0-2 Never-4-Get

During pool play and into the playoffs as well, there was a plethora of “1 run games.” Several games literally came down to the final batter to decide the win/loss.

Once pool play concluded, all teams, wives, girlfriends, kids, and family members made their way to field #3, lined up by teams, and fanned off from home plate into the infield to pay tribute during a 60-second moment of silence. Everyone in attendance bowed their heads to remember and honor all of those that fell during the 9-11 attacks and all the Police, Fire, and Military members who have made to ultimate sacrifice since that tragic day in 2001. The tournament director spoke about the attacks and read some of the famous quotes that surfaced during the days that followed that significant moment in American history.

After the tribute concluded, and bracket play started, it was a win or pack your trash and hit the road jack scenario. As previously mentioned there were some very tight victories to see who would continue to march on through the brackets.

The opening round of the playoffs was witness to the Old-school Veterans of Never-4-Get facing off against Team Pickles. The cagey old timers had lost two very close games in pool play, and Pickles had won two close ones. This came down to the wire, but in the end, it was Pickles securing the win 21-14. Field #3 saw newcomers SBPD Bombers square off against LASD Slaps. This was an absolute boat race to the finish line that included a controversial call on a Home Run, that was ruled to be just inside the foul line. This judgment call by the umpire gave the 1-run victory to SBPD Bombers 19-18. The lower half of the bracket gave way to another game that was closer than its score as Covina PD locked horns with CDCR Cali Bombers. This game was back and forth until Covina opened it up and took a 17-point lead late in the contest. In their final at-bat, the Cali Bombers closed the gap scoring 11 runs, but still fell short 29-23, Covina PD moves on. The last game of the opening round was a little lop-sided as Local 47 Storm came into the event without a number of their regular players. The Marine team USMC Double Tap, hailing from Camp Pendleton capitalized on this and quieted the Storm 21-3.

The semi-final matches were set, and field #1 had undefeated Pickles vs a team they beat earlier in pool play 26-25, the newcomers of San Bernardino PD. This was yet another epic battle into the late innings, but this time the SBPD Bombers snapped the Pickles 18-17 for their second back-to-back, 1 run win, in bracket play. The other semi-final match up was Covina PD locking horns with undefeated on the day USMC Double Tap. Covina PD strategically tacked on a few runs each inning until they reached 18 runs in the final inning. The young Leathernecks of Double Tap struggled to cross the plate much of the game, but added 4 runs in the final inning. Unfortunately, their total run count was not enough as Covina picked up the “W”, 18-11.

The Championship game was set, and both Covina PD and SBPD Bombers looked solid all day long as they worked their way through pool play and the brackets. This game was going to boil down to which team got hot at the plate when it counted most. The evidence quickly surfaced as Covina PD got blazing hot, while SBPD couldn’t keep pace, and when the dust settled and the umpire yelled “Ballgame”, it was Covina PD solidly taking the 9-11 Memorial Tournament Title 29-10! Congratulations to Covina PD for battling it out all day long and claiming the annual 9-11 Memorial Tournament Championship as their own on this day. For their victory, Covina PD took home the prize package of the extra large bottles of a variety of mouth-watering liquor, including Whiskeys, Rum, Vodka, & Tequila.

All in all it was a great day of Public Safety Softball competition and camaraderie. The weather cooperated entirely, and DJ “Rugburn Supreme” was bumpin' the jams over the big speakers, while the boys were ballin' it up on the diamonds!

We at Guns & Hoses Softball appreciate and value all the support from the players and their families and we look forward to seeing everyone next month at the season-ending Grand Finale Tournament of Champions on October 1st at Mile Square Park, in Fountain Valley to crown the 2023 TOC Champs!

- Team G & H

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