Mark Nelson had to use his left hand for congratulatory handshakes.
Nelson took a line drive off his right hand while running the bases for the Bit Players in the top of the seventh inning against the Rotorheads.
But he could smile after the Bit Players won 13-9 for the championship of the coed Division B-2 tournament. He led the offense in the deciding game Aug. 20 on NASA softball field 1. The Bit Players, which advanced from the losers’ bracket, won the afternoon’s first game 6-5 to force the nightcap.
“It was one of the better nights I had this year,” said Nelson, who was hitless in the first game.
The right center went 4-for-4 with two doubles, three runs batted in and two runs scored. Jennifer Robinson’s line drive struck his hand when he was on third base for the final out of the seventh.
Nelson, who served in the Marines Reserve from 1995-2005, wrestled from 1992-95 at Armijo High School in Fairfield, California. Pat Morita, the actor who played Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid film series, is probably that school’s most famous alum.
But Nelson played the starring role on offense in this game for the champion Bit Players (10-5).
Ken Binford went 3-for-3 with a double, one RBI and three runs. Greg Caldwell, Kurt Jackson and Paul Hastings had two hits apiece. Jackson, a left-hander, was the winning pitcher.
“A lot of teamwork, a lot of dedication. And perseverance,” player/coach Brandon Reeves said. “Offense was key. Just putting the ball in the right place at the right time.”
Tim Peavy, Brandi Cooper and Gary Sienicki had two hits apiece for the Rotorheads (9-5). Rob Smith took the loss.
“We had a great year,” Rotorheads catcher Jeff Johnson said. “Just got to hit.”