The Bahamas Men’s National Softball Team recently travelled to the World Baseball Softball Confederation’s (WBSC) 10th Pan American Championship at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Among the team players were 5 Star Ag and Turf Bulldogs players – Lyle Sawyer, ace pitcher and National Championship MVP, and Haziel McDonald, who served as one of the coaches.
Team Bahamas was also comprised of: Perry Seymour, manager; Richard “the Lion Heart” Johnson, coach; Alcott Forbes, Angelo Dillett, Austin Hanna, Courtney Smith, and Desmond Russell Jr. from Grand Bahama; Garfield Bethel, Lamar Watkins; Martin Burrows Jr., and Micah Bethel from Eleuthera; and Philip Johnson, Sherman Ferguson, Thomas Davis and Wayne Johnson.
The championship ran from Sept. 14-24.
The Bahamas was placed in Group B with Argentina, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and Mexico, while Group A featured Aruba, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, the United States of America, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
In their first game against Guatemala, The Bahamas suffered their first loss of 2-1. During that game, Desmond Russell Jr. scored a single run for the team with a home run in the fifth inning. Making a quick comeback against Costa Rica, the team celebrated its first win: 7-0.
Next up, The Bahamas faced teams from Canada and Belize. Canada won 8-1 against The Bahamas; however, The Bahamas bounced back to beat Belize: 7-0. The winning pitcher was Lyle Sawyer, and Sherman Ferguson scored two home runs.
On Sept. 19, The Bahamas was scheduled to play a double header against Mexico followed by Argentina. According to the Bahamas Softball Association’s (BSF Bahamas) Facebook post, Lyle Sawyer pitched up to the fifth inning with The Bahamas leading 3-1, and Thomas Davis pitched thereafter.
Wayne “Pappy” Johnson had a hit with two RBIs, and Angelo Dillet also had a hit. Nevertheless, Mexico won 8-3 over The Bahamas.
In their game against Argentina, Team Bahamas was once again defeated. Argentina won 15-2 over The Bahamas with Martin Burrows pitching for the team. Philip Johnson and Angelo Dillet got in hits to score two runs for the team.
In their final game on Sept. 20, Team Bahamas won 2-1 over Panama with Alcott Forbes as the winning pitcher, and Sherman Ferguson scoring a home run. The Bahamas finished the tournament with a 3-and-4 record.
Overall, the BSF expressed their satisfaction with the performance of the Bahamas Men’s National Softball Team.
In an online statement, the BSF announced that: “The team competed exceptionally and their high level of play made us all very proud. This is the best record in the English Caribbean Confederation, which qualifies them for the tournaments listed: Central American and Caribbean Sports Games in Barranquilla, Colombia in 2018 and Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in 2019.”