A Historic Baseball Game between Utilian Concords and Roatan’s Best took place on September 6 and 7. It was the first time in a decade that a Utila baseball team has played in Roatan.
After several years of playing soccer, Utila has reemerged as the baseball island it used to be in the 1970s and 80s. Currently Utila has five baseball teams, one more than Roatan. There are: Cay Rays, As, Playboys, Dream Team and Bulldogs.
The Utila players sporting the “Concord” jerseys arrived on Roatan the morning of September 6, on the same day they played their first game. A flotilla of five boats, two dive boats, two dories and a private boat, brought the 23 players to play a series of three games against three of Roatan’s teams. Henry Bernard, one of the team who came as Concord’s manager, was one of the old timers who remembers playing Roatan on a regular basis.
In the first game Utila’s Concord played Kool and Gang. After a rough start the Utilians settled with a 19-6 score.
The afternoon game against the Sandy Bay Pirates proved to be closer. It all began when Joseph James from the Pirates hit a home run in the first inning to make the score 1-0. In the second inning, Pirates’s player Blackey got a base hit with the help of a Concord error. A sacrifice bunt and Blackey advanced to second. The next player at bat was hit by the Concord pitcher, a base hit and soon the bases were loaded. Ryan popped out, letting Blackey tag up and score. Then came Big Joe to the plate. You could see in his eyes he wanted that home run and the two RBIs. But it wasn’t meant to be: he popped out, leaving the score 2-0 Pirates.
Cooney Miller, the pitcher for the Pirates, was on his game, striking out five players by the third inning. The third and fourth innings were rather quiet. It wasn’t till the fifth, that the Concords hit a triple. The next batter hit a single and the Concord player from third made his move, running for home plate. Rather than go for the sure-out-at-first, the player threw the ball to Big Joe, the catcher, and the Concord player was tagged out at home plate. Score still 2-0 Pirates. The fifth inning had some action with Pirates players making it on base, but no scores for either team. Cooney had ten strike outs for the Pirates by the bottom of the sixth inning.
The game started to heat up again in the eight inning. Big Joe hit a single to right field. Then Cooney hit a two-run homer. Pirates up 4-0. Two more runs were driven in for the Pirates in the same inning. Edison hit a single to center field and drove in Walter James and a player at third stole home off a Concord error. The Concords, feeling the pressure, stepped up their game and scored 2 runs; score 6-2 Pirates.
It was the ninth inning and a hint of uncertainty hung in the air with the Concords just scoring two runs. The Concords were batting and the first hitter was hit by a pitch. The second hitter hit a single, but got the player from first thrown out at second base.
After a dramatic ninth inning the final score was 6-4, for the Pirates. “It’s a bit tough playing someone you haven’t seen before,” said Donny Rivera, Utila selection third baseman, who also plays for the A’s team. [/private]