After spending 2018 in Iraq with the Corps of Engineers, Vincent “Smurf” Fails didn’t return to the softball field until June.
Now he and the three-time defending champion We Dem Boyz look ready to continue their reign atop Division A.
Fails was the winning pitcher as We Dem Boyz beat Brew Crew, 24-6 on July 22 at NASA field 1 in their final game of the regular season. Next up is the Division A tournament.
“This is my fourth game, I think,” Fails said. “I’m finally coming around hitting. Happy to be back out here with We Dem Boyz, getting a little exercise.
“I feel a lot better now. I was rusty at first but it’s like riding a bike – getting back into the groove.”
He improved to 2-0 in his second game in the pitching circle. He has also been playing right center. Fails helped himself at the plate by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
We Dem Boyz (9-1) avenged their lone loss of the regular season. Brew Crew (5-5) won 24-17 on May 6 at field 2.
First baseman Michael Harris went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer, two triples, a double, five runs batted in and four runs scored. He played baseball for Jackson State from 1985-87.
“Just had to relax, have some fun,” Harris said. “Getting ready for the tournament.”
Gary Benjamin went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Leadoff hitter Austen Young was 4-for-4 with two triples, two RBIs and three runs scored. Stephen Dix and Vann Patton added three hits apiece. Lance Watson, Doug Dutcher, Andrew Broadfoot and Britt Morris had two hits apiece.
“Good hitting, good pitching,” Broadfoot said.
Fails allowed six runs, three earned, on eight hits in four innings. He had one strikeout and one walk.
We Dem Boyz scored six runs in the top of the first and led 8-3 entering the third. The winners collected 29 hits, seven for extra bases.
Hunter Olive, Myles Kelley and Quentin Harris had two hits apiece for Brew Crew. Left-hander Kyle Mann took the loss.
“Got a couple of injuries. Haven’t been hitting the ball well lately,” player/coach Matt Pensa said.