Extra innings just fine with Air Force

By Somer Breeze-Hanson/JBLM PAO on September 7, 2012

While Brad Johannes stood on third base as the potential game-winning base runner, one thought ran through his mind.

"All I could think about was my 0-for-5 game," Johannes said. "I was hoping I could make it up to the team."

Johannes did just so as he beat the throw at home on a slide that lifted the 627th Civil Engineer Squadron to a 16-15 victory over the 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord installation softball championship Aug. 31 at McChord Field.

With the game tied at 15 after the seven innings of regulation, a base runner was automatically placed on second base to start the extra inning. At the top of the eighth 56th MMB was unable to bring the base runner home. At the bottom of the inning Johannes was placed on second. He advanced to third and then scored on a grounder by pitcher James Abney.

This was the fifth and final season Johannes played with the Engineers; he will PCS next week to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

"I just wanted this last one before I went," he said.

After winning the JBLM Air Force softball championship on a rally in the final inning the previous week, the Engineers were used to fighting from behind. The 56th MMB created a quick 9-1 lead after just two innings, but the Engineers slowly chipped away at the deficit to take the lead in the fifth inning before the score was tied in the seventh.

"There were always ups and downs but we always had a way to come through," Abney said. "We always developed that spark that got us some hard fought games. It wasn't an easy season, but it was a successful season."

Abney was the only Engineer to hit a home run with a hard shot down the left field line, while Nicholas Doyley led the 56th MMB Warriors with an out of the park homer.

"I'm usually just a base hitter," Doyley said. "That's only my second home run of the season."

Doyley caught for pitcher Tommy Crumedy. The 56th MMB lost its first game of the intramural season and won every game afterward, including the Army championship, but fell short in the grand finale. The team was missing a couple players from their roster, but Doyley chalks the loss up to complacency.

"We just relaxed too much," Doyley said. "We had too comfortable of a lead."

The Engineers celebrated the start of their Labor Day weekend when they received their installation championship trophy.