The Range Rats came out swinging Friday in the Redstone Test Center’s softball tournament final.
Their six-run first inning set the tone as they beat the Swingers 25-22 for the championship at the Col. Carroll D. Hudson Recreation Area. The Range Rats, from the Missiles and Sensors Test Directorate, outslugged the Swingers, from RTC’s Center Support.
The Rotorheads beat the defending champion Qube-Matics 15-11 in the consolation game.
“We came out hot and then we cooled off. We had to be resilient,” Range Rats player/coach Jared Fontaine said. “We hit the ball really well. Andrew Dalton with his two home runs was critical. And superb defense especially from (third baseman) Nick Gregg and (shortstop) A.J. Crawford, who had Derek Jeter-like plays at short.”
Dalton slammed a pair of two-run homers for the Range Rats (2-0). He went 4-for-5 with a two-run double, six runs batted in and three runs scored.
Crawford was 4-for-4 with an inside-the-park home run, two triples, seven RBIs and five runs. Spencer Harrison went 4-for-4 with four runs. Fontaine, Carl Swanson and Scott Canterberry had three hits apiece. Ian Pearson, Jason Smith and Nick Gregg added two hits apiece. Wes Jones pitched all seven innings for the win.
Erik Buatte hit a two-run, inside-the-park home run for the Swingers (1-1). He went 4-for-5 with two doubles, three RBIs and four runs. Matt Matoushek and Brad Cain also had four hits apiece. Tara Clayton had three hits and three RBIs. Tom Delaney, Pat Golwitzer, Zach Clayton and Mark Calhoun added two hits apiece. Ric Rivera took the loss.
“It was a great game,” Rivera said. “I gave them a couple of walks that gave them the advantage. It was fun. And it’s the true meaning of what wellness is – it brings out camaraderie. It’s really the RTC birthday. We’re 10 years old and we celebrate birthday with Wellness Day.”
In the consolation game, Larry Cothren and Naaman Robertson each blasted a three-run homer for the Rotorheads (1-1). They represented the Aviation Flight Test Directorate. Juan Hall and Brandi Cooper had two hits apiece. Rob Smith pitched the five-inning win
“Bats were hot,” Cothren, the Rotorheads player/coach, said. “Two home runs and then a seven-run fifth – that was huge. We’ll get a championship next year.”
Alex Cannon went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBIs for Qube-Matics (0-2). Last year’s champions represented the Environmental and Climatic Test Directorate. Collyn Mann, Andrew Uselton, Chris Ertl and player/coach Bert Young had two hits apiece. Starting pitcher Richard Mangolia took the loss.
“We just really came out here to have fun,” Young said after this third-place game. “Made quite a few errors, didn’t hit the ball very well in the beginning. But once we settled down, pulled it together, it was a little too late. But we just had fun.”