Dec. 5, 2006 — The Just for Fun softball team claimed its seventh straight Quarren Schjang 40-plus Softball League championship amid a world of controversy Sunday at the D.C. Canegata ballpark in Christiansted.
Just for Fun won the title when the Jays walked off the field in the top of the fifth inning, after one of their players was expelled from the game by the umpire for alleged using an illegal bat. The Jays were so upset with the judgment that they decided not to continue the game, even though they were leading at the time by five runs at 15-10.
Illegal bats, as determined by the American Softball Association (ASA), are bats that because of their configuration, cause the ball to jump off the surface at a dangerously high velocity and can hit homerun balls an abnormally long distance.
The defending champs were in no mood to feel sorry for the Jays, as one of their players was also ejected from the game when the Jays talerted the umpire that Just for Fun centerfielder Dwayne Thomas was wearing iron cleats — an absolute "no-no" in 40-plus softball.
The Thomas expulsion came at a time when Just for Fun was in the midst of a rally, having plated three runs already in the inning and with their cleanup hitter, Guido Schjang, at the plate with the bases loaded.
We didnt want it like this, but we will take it, exclaimed JFF shortstop Kai Schjang after the Jays walked off. Payback is a [expletive delted], he said.
The defending champs came into Sundays game leading the best-of-five series two game to none over the Jays and ready early for the sweep.
The Jays, however had other ideas. Batting first, the Jays got on the board right away. Tony Cruz slammed a two-run shot and Mario Ortiz had an RBI single to give the Jays the early 3-0 lead. Just for Fun would then answer with four runs to lead 4-3 at the end of one. They scored four runs on an RBI single by Eustace Davis, a two-run double by Reuben Mercado and a fielders choice.
The Jays picked up an unearned run in the top of the second to knot the game at 4-4, but Just for Fun again answered, this time with two runs on a two-run homerun off the bat of Kai Schjang, to lead 6-4 at the end of two innings.
The Jays took charge of the game in the top of the third when they erupted for seven runs on a three-run double by Cruz, a two-run shot by Manuel Cruz, a solo shot by Ortiz and an RBI double by Edwin Rivera. Just for Fun would rally in the bottom of the inning. They had already scored three runs on a solo shot by Eustace Davis, an RBI single by Thomas and a sac fly off the bat of Myron Johannes, and the bases were still loaded for their most dangerous hitter when the Thomas ejection ended the inning. Just for Fun trailed 119 at that point.
The Jays added four more runs in the top of the fourth to extend its lead to 15-9. They scored four runs on a three-run shot off the bat of Cruz (his second homerun of the game) and an RBI single off the bat of Rivera. Reuben Mercados RBI single accounted for the lone run in the fourth for Just for Fun and they now trailed 15-10.
In the top of the fifth, waiting for just the right moment, Just for Fun challenged the bat right after the Jays ace pitcher, Ortiz, hit a long homerun with it. Just for Fun's manager quickly brought the bat to the attention of the umpire, who after analysis determined that it was illegal.
This also meant that Ortiz, along with the bat, had to be ejected from the game (and the next game if one were needed). The fact that the Jays lacked depth at pitching beyond Ortiz, along with the loss of their super bat, may have contributed to the team's decision to forfeit rather than continue against the champs.
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