The Bomb Busters prevailed against all odds.
Through illness and injury, they stayed unbeaten and earned their second straight championship in Division D.
The Bomb Busters edged the Space Cowboys, 14-13 in the final Aug. 19 at NASA softball field 2. They went 3-0 in the postseason tournament and finished 14-0-1 overall.
“It was all-around effort. We got our bats going at times but defense was there,” player/coach Jordan Jones said. “Our offense wasn’t the best but our defense held us through the playoffs.”
The Bomb Busters benefited from their depth. Whenever someone was hurt or sick, they always had a replacement. In the final, Jones played shortstop with his injured knee and shoulder; and Mike Dixon played third base with an injured knee. Both used courtesy runners when they reached base.
Troy Sutherland, the right center, went 4-for-4 with a two-run homer, two doubles, four runs batted in and three runs scored. He pitched for the University of Alabama baseball team from 2009-12.
“It was a lot of fun, great to get out here and play,” Sutherland said. “It’s a great team to play against. It’s been great to come out here and defend our title.”
Winning pitcher Michael Melton had said before the season that the defending champion Bomb Busters were “going to bring it.”
“What did we do?” he asked rhetorically after the final. “We brought it.”
Barry Childress and Tyler Archote had three hits apiece. Craig Goddard, Jones and Dixon added two hits apiece.
“I love this game,” Melton said. “But to play with a group of friends like this makes it the best.”
Tyron Childress hit a three-run homer for the Space Cowboys (9-7). His two-out blast in the bottom of the seventh ended the scoring. Andrew Walters hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run. Cody Jones and Grant Lowman had three hits apiece. Jason Hopper, Jordon Lovell, Walters, Childress and Don Reed had two hits apiece. Hopper took the loss.
“That was a tough loss,” Space Cowboys player/coach Will Kirby said. “We got better as the year went on.”