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Devon Tiongco said he had a rough time playing third base Thursday against the 75th Ranger Regiment. A lot of Rangers had the tendency to pull it left and it seemed as though Tiongco had a hole in his glove.
I had pretty bad luck the entire game, Tiongco said. One of them almost broke my finger. They were hitting it pretty good.
But Tiongco answered with his bat when his team needed it most.
Despite trailing throughout the game, D Troop, 1st Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, pulled out four runs in the final inning to defeat the Rangers 12-11 at Engineer Field.
Tiongco drove in three of those runs with an inside-the-park home run. He may have had a little help as the Rangers outfield faced the sun and appeared to have trouble tracking the ball.
Like Forrest Gump, I just kept running, Tiongco said. I thought it was a pop out.
The ball scurried to the center-field fence and Tiongco crossed home plate to tie the game.
Three batters later, Andrew Crouch drove in Ryan Stull with a game-winning single up the middle.
It took a little motivation to get the guys to want to play, said 1-16 coach Jeremy Davis. We realized we were losing and we picked it up in the last couple of innings. (The home run) was part of the reason we got motivated really quick. You dont see it very often.
Stull also had an inside-the-park-homer that drove in two runs in the second inning.
Davis called the game the biggest win of the season for 1-16, which improved to 3-1. It may have secured a spot in the Commanders Cup Postseason Softball Tournament.
For the Rangers, however, the game may have cost them a shot at the postseason as they fell to 2-3. Rangers coach Erik Klinger said his team missed a couple of games due to field duty and, as of Friday, was not scheduled to play any more games. A team must have a .500 or better record to get into the postseason tournament.
Klinger said he and his team were disappointed, especially after holding the big advantage. The Rangers opened the game with four runs in the first and had a 9-4 lead going into the fifth.. However, giving up free bases four walks in the last two innings proved to be costly.
We walked a few too many guys in the last couple of innings, Klinger said. There was a huge factor with the sun but I dont think it ended the game for us. I think it was more the walks.