Team Bahamas opened the new Andre Rodgers National Stadium and the 2022 Caribbean Cup on a winning note.
Toby Simmons’ sac fly to score Kristin Munroe in the bottom of the eighth inning was the go ahead for a 4-3 win over the US Virgin Islands last night.
Evan Sweeting was the winning pitcher after he struck out two in relief in the eighth while McKell Bethel got the save with two strikeouts in the ninth.
The Bahamas’ bullpen accounted for 12 strikeouts and gave up six hits en route to the win.
Brandon Russell got the start and finished with five strikeouts through five innings followed by Travvis Ferguson who had three strikeouts through two.
Simmons finished 1-3 with an RBI, Hanna was 1-3 with an RBI and scored a run, Adari Grant was 1-4 and Ural Forbes went 1-4.
After a scoreless first inning, The Bahamas got on the scoreboard in the second inning.
After Hanna and Cherif Neymour both drew walks, Neymour stole second and forced a wild throw from USVI catcher Conroy Samuel that sailed over the head of shortstop Zayd Branningan.
Hanna scored on the play to take a 1-0 lead.
Russell struck out two of the three batters he faced in the third to keep the lead for The Bahamas.
Forbes’ single led off the third for The Bahamas. With two outs and the bases loaded Simmons struck out to end the inning and the team left runners on base for the second time in as many innings.
The USVI got on the scoreboard in the fifth when Taj Bates’ fly ball landed just beyond the reach of a diving Simmons to score Kelani Luke. USVI would tack on another run in the sixth inning to take their first lead of the game, 2-1.
Simmons opened the bottom half of the seventh when he ripped a double down the right field line. Warren Saunders hit into fielders’ choice with runners at second and third and the potential game tying run cut down at the plate.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Hanna singled down the right field line to score Moss and Saunders and give the Bahamas a 3-2.
In the eighth, Sweeting entered the game with no outs and runners on first and second. He eventually struck out two of the next three he faced to get out of the inning with the game tied at 3-3.
In the ninth, Munroe walked and eventually stole second and third, setting the stage for Simmons’ late game heroics with his sac fly for the go ahead score.
Bethel entered the game in the ninth and struck out two of the three he faced to seal the win.
The Bahamas continues play tonight when they face defending champion Curacao at 7 pm.