YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — After three years of domination by host Yokota and a weekend spent dodging showers and thunderstorms, a new champion was crowned Monday in the 4th Kanto Kup.
Taiwan’s National Team rallied from a 20-11 fourth-inning first-game deficit behind the bat of Chen Kuo-ming to dethrone Yokota in a two-game championship, 22-20 and 12-6 in the Pacificwide open softball tournament at Yokota Park.
"He’s a monster when he’s out there," Yokota coach Ted Reed said of Chen, 46, a burly 6-foot-5 slugger known as "Big Hurt" around the Pacific interservice circuit.
Chen went 5-for-8 in the two games, belting three home runs and driving in seven runs in the first championship game. His two-run blast in the sixth inning put Taiwan ahead to stay 21-20 as Taiwan scored 11 unanswered runs.
The host Warriors, the winner’s bracket final team, had one more chance to wrap up the title in one game and send Taiwan home with its second loss. Yokota loaded the bases with one out, but Josh Purvis lined into a pitcher-to-first base double play to end it.
"We had them where we wanted them, and it didn’t work out for us," Reed said. "They stuck with it. They got hits, they played good defense and made the right play at the right time."
Taiwan overcame stellar first-game hitting performances by Keith Serrano, who went 4-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs and tournament Offensive MVP Steve Derivan, who was 3-for-5 with four RBIs.
The Taiwanese left nothing to chance in the second game, scoring seven runs in the first inning and were never threatened. Yokota chipped away and got within 9-6 in the fifth inning, but Taiwan closed out the scoring with three runs in the sixth.
Reed and Purvis each had three hits and Derivan drove in two runs for Yokota in the clincher.
Kanto KupDouble-elimination playoffs
Game 1—Sasebo Naval Base, Japan, 9, Camp Zama, Japan, 8 (8)Game 2—University of Phoenix, Yokota Air Base, Japan, 13, Taiwan National Team 10 (5)Game 3—Yokota Air Base, Japan, 9, 35th Maintenance Group, Misawa Air Base, Japan, 4 (6)Game 4—International Guzzlers, South Korea, 13, Misawa Air Base Jets, Japan, 12 (6)Game 5—Taiwan 12, Camp Zama 6; Camp Zama eliminated
Game 6—35th Maintenance Group 8, Misawa Jets 4; Misawa Jets eliminatedGame 7—University of Phoenix 14, Sasebo Naval Base 7Game 8—Yokota Air Base 14, International Guzzlers 11Game 9—Taiwan National Team 8, International Guzzlers 7; International guzzlers eliminatedGame 10—35th Maintenance Group 12, Sasebo Naval Base 8; Sasebo Naval Base eliminatedGame 11—Yokota Air Base 10, University of Phoenix 5Game 12—Taiwan National Team 11, 35th Maintenance Group 10; 35th Maintenance Group eliminatedGame 13—Taiwan National Team 17, University of Phoenix 2; University of Phoenix eliminatedGame 14—Taiwan National Team 22, Yokota Air Base 20Game 15—Taiwan National Team 12, Yokota Air Base 6
Offensive Most Valuable Player—Steven Derivan, Yokota.Defensive Most Valuable Player—Donnie Wilburn, University of Phoenix.All-Tournament team—Marcus Meeks, Keith Serrano, Yokota; S. Hung, Taiwan National Team; Trent Anderson, University of Phoenix; Jonathan Jordan, Mick Scumacci, 35th Maintenance Group; Kingsley Tucker, Jeff McClain, Misawa Jets; Scott Shaw, John Healy, Sasebo Naval Base.