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Early wins for Bahamian 15-16 team in Puerto Rico

Team Bahamas off to a strong start; looking to qualify for PONY World Series

Published: Jul 08, 2013

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Despite the absence of Freedom Farm Baseball League players, a 15-16 team from the Bahamas Baseball Federation (BBF) still managed to win two of their first three games at the PONY Caribbean Zone Colt 15-16 Qualifying Tournament.

The squad departed New Providence last week for the tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and has already turned in some exceptional performances. The winner of this tournament will represent the Caribbean at the PONY Colt 15-16 World Series. According to reports, the team which is led by manager Terran Rodgers, coach Felipe Sweeting and The Bahamas’ PONY Director Patrick Knowles Sr., is rallying around a strong pitching staff.

The team slammed Venezuela, 10-1, in its first game. The Bahamian team got a quick start with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. A key bases loaded two-out hit by Yokito Pinder scored two runs. The Bahamian team added another run with a two-out hit by Quinton Rolle. Ian Mayers scored and The Bahamas led 4-1 after three innings.

An outstanding catch in left field by Chavez Young in the third inning took away a two-run home-run from Venezuela, which preserved the lead at 4-1. The Bahamas added five runs in the bottom of the fifth due to key hits from Rolle, Antoine Ferguson, Justin Sweeting and Donavon Cox. The Bahamas got outstanding pitching from Dorian Kemp. He yielded just one run in three innings, and got the win. Sweeting pitched the next two innings, keeping Venezuela from getting any more runs. Later in the game, Maleek Perpall pitched out of a bases loaded jam to keep Venezuela off the scoreboard. He faced three hitters, striking out two and getting a fly out.

Rolle, Sweeting, Pinder, Young, Mayers and Ferguson each had two hits for the Bahamian team. Pinder led the team with three RBIs, and Rolle and Ferguson had two each.

The team consists of members from the Grand Bahama Amateur Baseball Association (GBABA) and the Junior Baseball League of Nassau (JBLN).

The Bahamas lost its second game, against host country Puerto Rico, 12-5.

Puerto Rico jumped out to a 3-0 lead on five consecutive base hits, mixed with a few walks, in the first inning. The Bahamas bounced right back in the bottom of the second inning with four runs, highlighted by a Kyle Simmons double and RBI hits by Young and Rolle. Mayers used his speed to score the fourth run of the inning, to give The Bahamas a 4-3 lead.

Puerto Rico came right back and added two runs in the top half of the third to take a 5-4 lead. The Bahamas added a run to tie game, in the bottom of the third, when Keithan Smith scored. With the game tied 5-5 in the top of the fourth, Puerto Rico took advantage of some costly errors. They later got a two-run home-run and went on to win 12-5 in seven innings. The Bahamas left 14 runners on base and had some key errors which allowed Puerto Rico extra opportunities to score runs and win the game.

Ferguson started and went the first three and a third innings for The Bahamas. Angelo Watson pitched to one batter in the fourth, Shameko Smith went one and two third innings, and Sweeting pitched the final inning. Young and Mayers lead The Bahamas with two hits and one 1 RBI each. Ferguson and Simmons had a double each.

In The Bahamas’ third game, they got past Panama, eliminating them, 5-2. According to reports, Simmons pitched the game of his life in his international pitching debut for The Bahamas.

“He was as consistent as we have seen a pitcher without overpowering stuff in these championships over the years,” said team manager Rodgers.

Simmons had two challenging innings in his complete game win. He surrendered a two-out double to Panama as they took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth, and in the bottom of the sixth facing trouble again, he was helped by a great defensive play from Young in his shortstop position. Young made some great pitches to keep Panama off the scoreboard.

The Bahamas’ offense struggled early, but got a spark on a home-run by Rolle in the top of the fourth inning to take a 1-0 lead. Down 2-1, Watson led off the sixth with a base hit to left field, stole second and Young walked. Mayers came up with a two-run single to right center to score both runs to give The Bahamas a 3-2 lead.

Going into the top of the seventh with a one-run lead, The Bahamas got back-to back from Watson and Rolle to score another run. Sweeting added another hit to score Rolle to give The Bahamas a commanding 5-2 lead. They went on to win the game and eliminate Panama from the tournament.

Rolle had a home-run and a double, and Mayers added two hits and two RBIs.

The Bahamas played Venezuela in its next game, an elimination contest, but the result was unavailable up to press time.

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