Dec. 1, 2006 — 40 Caliber blew a large lead early in the game then staged a late comeback to win 22-19 in a time-shortened, five-inning game Thursday night in the Bob Owens slow-pitch softball league at the D.C. Canegata ballpark in Christiansted.
The Cartel, which found themselves down at one point in the game 17-6, fought back valiantly to actually take the lead. But 16 walks allowed by their shaky pitching staff proved too much to overcome in the end. Steve Nisky went the distance on the mound to pick up the win for 40 Caliber, while Manny Arroyo got the loss for the Cartel.
Top hitters for 40 Caliber were Angel Soto (2-for-2, with three RBIs), Freddie Benitez (2-for-2, with five RBIs), and Nisky, who helped his own cause by going 3-for-3 with five RBIs.
For the Cartel, Arroyo went 3-for-4 with a homerun and three RBIs; Eddie Dunkirk went 2-for-3, with a homerun and three RBIs; and Kenny Milligan was 2-for-2 with three RBIs.
Batting first, 40 Caliber burst out of the gate as if they were going to blow out the Cartel. They erupted for 11 runs on a two-run homerun by Orlando Benitez, a three-run double by Freddie Benitez, two-run singles by Nisky and Soto, and bases-loaded walks drawn by Arthur Canaii and Soto, as 40 Caliber batted around in the inning.
The Cartel could only muster six runs in the bottom of the inning on a three-run homerun by Arroyo and a three-run double by Jose Ayala, trailing 11-6 after one full inning.
40 Caliber were not done scoring as they were back on the attack in the top of the top of the second. They plated six more runs to lead 17-6. They scored on two-run singles by Gary Malloy and Soto, a bases-loaded walk drawn by Nisky and a Cartel error.
Finding themselves down 17-6 in the bottom of the second, Cartel responded mightily, exploding for 10 runs to get to within one at 17-16. Dunkirk and Daren Lewis had two-run homeruns, Cantibol Encarnacion had a two-run single, and RBI singles by Dunkirk, Ray DeFraitas and Justin Hodgeten along with a 40 Caliber error accounted for the scoring.
After 40 Caliber failed to score in the top of the third, the Cartel took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the inning at 19-17, after coming up with a three-run double by Kenny Milligan. The Cartel would fail to score the rest of the way, and the stage was set for 40 Calibers late-inning heroics.
A bases-loaded walk draw by Carlos Gonzalez in the top of the fourth brought 40 Caliber one run closer at 19-18 after four innings.
They took the lead for good in the top of the fifth, scoring four runs on a two-run double by Lt. Gov.-elect Gregory Francis (pinch-hitting for Nisky), and a two-run single by Sylvester Blake (pinch-hitting for Freddie Benitez), to now lead 22-19. The Cartel came to bat in the bottom of the fifth knowing that due to time constraint it was do-or-die time. After the first hitter reached base on a 40 Caliber error, an unassisted double play by second baseman Freddie Benitez soon left them with the bases empty and two outs. The next hitter, pinch-hitter Sylvester McIntosh, popped up to the shortstop for the final out of the game.
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