The green team needed a boost after losing their seemingly comfortable lead over royal blue. They had a 15-run lead when royal blue scored 18 in the seventh inning.
Derek Santiago delivered the green power.
His walk-off grand slam brought a 25-23 win over royal blue on Aug. 23 at field 1 in Brahan Spring Park. They play in the 55-and-over Rockets league in Huntsville Senior Softball.
“About time I do something,” Santiago said. “I had the bases loaded twice. And now the third time was the charm.”
Batting second in the lineup, the shortstop went 3-for-6 with two doubles and three runs scored. Santiago works for contractor Sigmatech in support of the Security Assistance Command.
His wife, Crystal, pitched all seven innings for the win. Tom Fickling, Mike Keyser and Ragnar Opiniano, the Redstone fire chief, each had a two-run homer for green (2-5). Terry Koelbl and Opiniano had five hits apiece. Robert Tolliver had four hits. Scott Piro, Fickling, Keyser, Billy Cooley and Shawn Gordon added three hits apiece.
“Wow, what a game,” green coach Jeff Abbott said. “You give up 18 runs in the last inning and I thought we had let it go. But the bottom of the order really came through and got on base for Derek to hit that home run, the grand slam. Crystal pitched a great game, probably got a little tired. And we made a lot of errors in the last inning, but just pitched a great game. It was a great win for green.”
Jerry Bevel went 6-for-6 with three runs batted in and four runs scored for defending champion royal blue (2-4). Player/coach Bob Thomson and Kirk Wickizer had four hits apiece. Reid Pincomb, Jorge Marin, Bobby Upton, pitcher Jim Myers and Greg Johnson had three hits apiece. Brian Yarger added two hits. Myers took the loss.
“It took us six innings to start hitting,” Thomson said.