The month of August started like any ordinary month for the Abaco Softball Association (ASA) with games scheduled and played each weekend. On Aug. 11, the Latema Boys Constructionairs played against the Nagico Insurance Sluggers. The Constructionairs beat the Sluggers: 14 to 4. The winning pitcher was Oscar “Togo” Rolle of the Constructionairs with eight strikeouts, nine hits and four runs. Holding the hot bat was Shortstop Nigel Bootle Jr. of the Constructionairs who went 3-for-4 with six RBIs, 23B and one home run.
The following night, August 12, the Constructionairs entered the field again to play the Divine Construction Sharks. Their winning streak continued as they edged away with an eight-run gap to beat the Sharks – 10 to 2. The winning pitcher this time was Freddy “Skipper” Cornish with 10 strikeouts, eight hits and two runs. Constructionairs Right Fielder Eddie Russell went 2-for-3 with 23B and 5 RBIs.
Playing their third straight game for the weekend the Constructionairs took on the Sluggers again, but this time they were not so lucky. The Sluggers defeated the Constructionairs in a close game scoring nine runs, while the Constructionairs scored seven runs. The winning pitcher was Thomas “Machine Gun” Kelly with 8 strikeouts, seven runs and six hits. Sluggers Centerfielder Theophilus “TJ” Wallace went 3-for-4, 22B, 13B and five RBIs.
The following weekend, the 5 Star Ag and Turf Bulldogs faced the Constructionairs on Aug. 19 at the Murphy Town Ball Field. The Bulldogs devoured the Constructionairs with 10 runs only allowing them to score one run. The winning pitcher was Lyle “Big Boy” Sawyer with 10 strikeouts, two hits and one run. Holding the hot bat for the Bulldogs was Mark “Fat Boy” Douglas who went 3-for-4 with 22B, 13B and 5 RBIs.
A double header was scheduled for Aug. 20 with the Sharks and Constructionairs in the first game and the Bulldogs vs. the Sluggers in the final game. The Sharks beat the Constructionairs 9-5 with Jason Scott as the winning pitcher. Scott delivered nine strikeouts, four hits and five runs, and went 3-for-4 with one home run and 21B.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs and Sluggers faced off on the field in the last game of the night. The Sluggers held on as long as possible only to lose to the Bulldogs by three runs in the final innings. The Bulldogs scored six runs, while the Sluggers scored three runs. William “Lefty” Weatherford was the winning pitcher with 12 strikeouts, four hits and three runs. Bulldogs player Jerrod “Ha” Douglas went 3-for-4 with 21B, 12B and three RBIs.
On Aug. 23, a game between the Sluggers and Constructionairs took place. The Constructionairs beat the Sluggers: 8 to 1.
Unfortunately, this month’s game schedule ended on a sad note with the disappearance of Bulldogs player Dillon Albury, 15, at sea on Aug. 23. All softball games were postponed by ASA President Eriker Albury until updates were received on Dillon’s whereabouts. A search party went out every day to look for him, and on Aug. 26 some of Dillon’s belongings turned up. News of Dillon’s departure rocked the community of Abaco particularly his family and the softball community.
In a posting on the ASA’s Facebook page, ASA President Eriker Albury said: “Tonight is a very sad night for the Abaco Softball Association – we lost a giant of a player. Dillon was one of the best catchers even though he was young. Playing ball was his life; when his team was scheduled to play he [would] always be the first one at the park and even when they [were] not playing he [would] be at the park.
“It was a pleasure watching him play. My heart hurts, and I will miss seeing Dillon behind the home plate. Our condolences go out to Dillon’s mother, Tammy Sawyer-Albury. We could only imagine what you are going through. To his family, and the Bulldogs his teammates, our condolences. We know you all are hurting, and we pray that God will strengthen [you] and may His peace rest upon all of you. From the President Eriker Albury, the board members, umpires, and the teams. Dillon, we love you and may your soul Rest in Peace.”
Bulldogs players have also committed to winning the Abaco championships to advance to the Round Robin Tournament in New Providence in order to bring home another victory for Abaco in Dillon’s memory.