MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- A one-pitch, double elimination softball tournament was held Thursday to raise money for the staff noncommissioned officers 2003 Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
Gunnery Sgt. Adrian Strzyz, staff noncommissioned officer birthday ball committee treasurer, coordinated the tournament.
Strzyz's motivation to hold the tournament was to raise money to help lower the cost of the tickets to the staff NCO Marine Corps Birthday Ball.
Seven teams signed up for the tournament, with players including Marines, base civilian employees, members of the local community and even soon-to-be Marines. The teams were SixCom, Officers, Repair Division, Patriots, Provost Marshal's Office Enforcers, Albany A's and the Staff Noncommissioned Officers. Each team paid a $50 entry fee.
"The entry fee helped pay for trophies, food and the raffle prizes," said Strzyz. "You have to spend a little money in order to make money."
Last year Strzyz held the tournament and because it was so successful, he decided to hold it again. His love for the sport also influenced his decision. Between raffle tickets, the entry fee and food and drink sales, this year's event brought in more than $400.
To give the teams a break in the middle of the tournament, a home run derby was held for any tournament-registered player. To enter the derby, contestants paid a $5 fee. Some of the batters hit homeruns earlier in the day, but with gray clouds overhead the wind picked up and proved to be too much resistance for the batters. Ten players competed in the derby and where each given 10 balls to hit, but no one could get one over the fence. Strzyz decided to give each batter two more pitches and the longest hit would declare the winner. Repair Division?s Bobby Bass took that honor.
Last year's tournament champions were the PMO Enforcers and looked as though they were the team to beat again this year after winning their first two games. But the Repair Division was also looking strong. They crushed their first opponent, the Patriots, 13-2 and lost their second game to PMO by only one run, 11-12.
"The Repair Division looks like they have a tough team. They keep putting balls in the trees," Strzyz said during Repair Division's first game, referring to the area beyond the outfield fence.
The Enforcers won their first two games and were on a roll until they played the Staff NCOs, who had a first-round bye, and lost. The Enforcers were lowered into the losers brackets and had to play Repair Division a second time. The Repair Division was still unable to top PMO and the Enforcers moved on to the championship game.
Once again the Staff NCOs faced-off against PMO and won 11-6, becoming the 2003 tournament champions.
"It's always fun to come out and spend time with Marines," said Strzyz.
Although Strzyz, along with many others, works hard at putting the event together, he knows that the event raises money because of the players and spectators.