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Ramstein’s Travis Ritz bats against Kaiserslautern's Bryson Lokey in a game on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ramstein’s Travis Ritz bats against Kaiserslautern's Bryson Lokey in a game on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – The Ramstein Royals raced to victory against the Kaiserslautern Raiders in a doubleheader Saturday.

The Royals, a team known for aggressive baserunning, frequently slid around the diamond as they stole bases and advanced on passed balls as they won 16-3 and 8-3.

The red dirt on players’ pants led one parent to complain about the laundry she would have to do afterward.

But the team’s need for speed pleased Ramstein’s coach Alfredo Rios, who said he liked seeing his team knock off the rust from more than two years of inaction.

“Today was amazing,” Rios said.

Ramstein's Liam Delp attempts to pick off Kaiserslautern's Sawyer Ter Horst as his teammate Keegan Cornelius races to cover second base in a game Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ramstein's Liam Delp attempts to pick off Kaiserslautern's Sawyer Ter Horst as his teammate Keegan Cornelius races to cover second base in a game Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Kaiserslautern's Sawyer Ter Horst tags out Ramstein's Lucas Hollenbeck at home plate in a game Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Kaiserslautern's Sawyer Ter Horst tags out Ramstein's Lucas Hollenbeck at home plate in a game Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein's Donovan Kaya waves to Kaiserslautern third baseman after narrowly escaping a tag during a game Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Ramstein's Donovan Kaya waves to Kaiserslautern third baseman after narrowly escaping a tag during a game Saturday, April 30, 2022. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Kaiserslautern's Aidan Malcolm looks at the ball after barely getting back to first base during a pickoff attempt and swipe by Ramstein’s C.J. Delp during a game on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Kaiserslautern's Aidan Malcolm looks at the ball after barely getting back to first base during a pickoff attempt and swipe by Ramstein’s C.J. Delp during a game on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein's Keegan Cornelius celebrates with teammate Liam Delp after a wild rush to home base during a 16-3 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ramstein's Keegan Cornelius celebrates with teammate Liam Delp after a wild rush to home base during a 16-3 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein's Liam Delp leads off during the first inning of a game against Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022.

Ramstein's Liam Delp leads off during the first inning of a game against Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein’s Liam Delp gathers a ground ball hit by Kaiserslautern’s Philip Stacey before throwing him out during an 8-3 victory on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ramstein’s Liam Delp gathers a ground ball hit by Kaiserslautern’s Philip Stacey before throwing him out during an 8-3 victory on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Kaiserslautern's Philip Stacey takes off for first while batting against Ramstein in a game Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Kaiserslautern's Philip Stacey takes off for first while batting against Ramstein in a game Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Kaiserslautern's Anderson Ennis snags a fly ball in a game against Ramstein on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Kaiserslautern's Anderson Ennis snags a fly ball in a game against Ramstein on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein’s Christian Roy snags a fly ball in a game against Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ramstein’s Christian Roy snags a fly ball in a game against Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein’s Christian Roy hits a foul ball in a game against Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ramstein’s Christian Roy hits a foul ball in a game against Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein's Conor McGinty slides into third base before Kaiserslautern's third baseman can reach him in a game Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ramstein's Conor McGinty slides into third base before Kaiserslautern's third baseman can reach him in a game Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Kaiserslautern's Anderson Ennis scoots back to first base before Ramstein's C.J. Delp can get the ball during a pickoff attempt in a game on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Kaiserslautern's Anderson Ennis scoots back to first base before Ramstein's C.J. Delp can get the ball during a pickoff attempt in a game on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Ramstein's Liam Delp pitches during an 8-3 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Ramstein's Liam Delp pitches during an 8-3 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Kaiserslautern's Bryson Lokey pitches in a game against Ramstein on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Kaiserslautern's Bryson Lokey pitches in a game against Ramstein on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Kaiserslautern, Germany. (J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

The 2020 and 2021 spring baseball seasons were canceled due to COVID-19.

Rios said he has spent more time teaching his players the fundamentals this year, with more drills than usual.

He praised his catchers Scott Monroe and Chuck Wheeler for keeping the ball in front of them and under control.

The Raiders found themselves vexed by Ramstein pitchers Conor McGinty and Liam Delp, who had seven and six strikeouts, respectively.

Kaiserslautern coach Justin Bates said he hopes for improvement during the remainder of this year’s quick six-week season.

The season, which started April 9, ends on May 14, with European championships in Germany from May 19-21.

“Two years off was detrimental to everyone,” Bates said.

Raiders pitcher Bryson Lokey recalled how he spent the last two years training by himself in basements, batting cages and gyms.

He collected four strikeouts during the second game of the doubleheader.

“I’m just happy to play baseball,” Lokey said.

author picture
J.P. Lawrence reports on the U.S. military in Afghanistan and the Middle East. He served in the U.S. Army from 2008 to 2017. He graduated from Columbia Journalism School and Bard College and is a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines.
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