Seth Roach of Marine Corps Base Camp S.D. Butler went 4-for-7 with a home run, triple, double and three RBIs in the Marine Forces Pacific Regional Softball Tournament on Monday.

Seth Roach of Marine Corps Base Camp S.D. Butler went 4-for-7 with a home run, triple, double and three RBIs in the Marine Forces Pacific Regional Softball Tournament on Monday. (Dave Ornauer / S&S)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Coach K.J. Basso and Marine Corps Base Camp Butler may have found a rising star in young shortstop Seth Roach.

The 20-year-old corporal, in his first Marine Forces Pacific Regional Softball Tournament, batted 4-for-7 with a homer, double, triple and three RBIs as Base opened defense of its 2005 championship with two victories Monday in round-robin play at Foster Field Complex’s Field 1.

Roach also started two double plays in Base’s 12-8 edging of 3rd Marine Logistics Group in Monday’s opening game. Later, playing through intermittent downpours, Base dismantled U.S. Naval Hospital Camp Lester 24-7.

“He’s a young talent,” Basso said of Roach, a former baseball shortstop for Chester High School in upstate New York. “He’s just learning the game of softball. He has a lot of power. He’s trying to lose the baseball swing but keep the baseball glove.”

Roach is one of 11 first-timers in the Pacific regional tournament on a Base team that carries only four veterans.

Basso felt his youthful charges acquitted themselves nicely against 3rd MLG, very much as his Headquarters & Services Battalion team, composed of many of the same players, did in the Commanding General’s Cup late last month when they beat Materiel Readiness Battalion 18-9 at Camp Hansen.

“They’re not intimidated by them at all,” Basso said of a 3rd MLG squad featuring such talents as two-time All-Marine third baseman Eduardo Santiesteban. “We made a few mistakes but we controlled the bleeding.”

Despite Monday’s strong start, Basso said he and his players know the road to defending the title will be a long one. Two more days of round-robin play will give way to the double-elimination playoffs on Thursday. The championship is scheduled for Friday.

“We came into this wanting to evaluate ourselves and prepare for the double-elimination,” Basso said. “It’s good to get a win, but in the grand scheme, it means nothing.”

One would never know that Keith Gilchrist spent the past eight months deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In his first appearance back from deployment, Gilchrist belted a pair of home runs and knocked in five runs as two-time defending runner-up 1st Marine Aircraft Wing grounded Japan’s Iwakuni Air Station 13-6.

The 39-year-old captain from Virginia Beach, Va., hadn’t picked up a bat since December.

“I guess I have a lot of saved-up energy,” he said.

2006 Marine Forces Pacific Regional Softball Tournament

2006 Marine Forces Pacific Regional Softball Tournament

At Field 1, Foster Field Complex, Camp Foster, Okinawa

Day 1 results

Round-robin standings

W L Pct. GB

Marine Corps Base Camp S.D. Butler 2 0 1.000 —

1st Marine Aircraft Wing 1 0 1.000 ½

3rd Marine Logistics Group 0 1 .000 1½

Iwakuni Air Station 0 1 .000 1½

U.S. Naval Hospital Camp Lester 0 1 .000 1½

Monday’s summaries

Base 12, 3rd MLG 8, 6 inn., 1-hour time limit

Base 602 220 — 12

3rd MLG 021 122 — 8

Base, David Pesante 3-for-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 RBIs; Seth Roach 2-for-3, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBIs; Allan Weeg, Justin Hays 2-for-3, 1 RBI each. 3rd MLG, Billy Nicely, Brian Barlock 1-for-3, 2 RBIs each; David Harris, Eduardo Santiesteban 2-for-3 each.

Wing 13, Iwakuni 6, 6 inn., 1-hour time limit

Wing 080 311 — 13

Iwakuni 003 003 — 6

Wing, Keith Gilchrist 2-for-4, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs; T.C. Gray 2-for-4, 3 RBIs; Carlos Cardoza 2-for-2, 1 3B, 2 BB, 2 RBIs. Iwakuni, Gary Watson 2-for-3, 2 RBIs; Thomas Millsap 2-for-3, 1 2B.

Base 24, Hospital 7, 5 inn., 12-run mercy rule

Base 730 68 — 24

Hospital 110 32 — 7

Base, Michael Gregory 4-for-4, 2 3B, 1 2B, 2 RBIs; Jose Sahagun 3-for-3, 1 2B, 4 RBIs; Eugene Wilson, 2-for-3, 1 SF, 2 RBIs; K.J. Basso 3-for-4, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBIs; Allan Weeg 1-for-3, 1 3B, 1 BB, 2 RBIs; Justin Hays 3-for-4, 1 3B, 2 RBIs. Hospital, Epafara Vaitautolu 2-for-2, 1 RBI; Terry Ford 1-for-2, 1 3B, 2 RBIs; Travis Casados 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI.

author picture
Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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