Three up and three down, in a Soldier’s mind, may represent the rank of master sergeant, but in this case, it means the end of an inning.
Command sergeants major engaged in a seven-inning attack on the commanders in a softball game June 25 at the fields behind the Magrath Sports Complex during the annual Mountainfest activities.
The sergeants major charged to their assigned positions on the field as the commanders were read their batting order.
The first two innings of the game were a bit slow, with both teams only scoring one run.
By the bottom of the third inning, the sergeants major were in the lead with a score of 8-3.
At the bottom of the fourth inning, the commanders were only able to manage one run, while the sergeants major were getting hit after hit, allowing two runners to find their way across home plate.
Commanders tried with everything they had to close the ever-growing lead the sergeants major established early in the game, but were unsuccessful.
It was the bottom of the fifth when Maj. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) commander, took the field as the commanders’ new pitcher.
Townsend allowed three runs while on the pitcher’s mound, which increased the score to 13-4.
As the sixth inning came to a close, the score remained the same.
Now at the top of the seventh inning, the commanders buckled down and kept their heads in the game as they scored run after run, closing in on the sergeants major’s lead.
The sergeants major seemed shocked to see the commanders scoring more runs in one inning than they did the previous six combined.
After allowing the commanders to score a few “sympathy runs,” the sergeants major made the final out, ending the game with the score of 14-12.
“Next year it will be a different story, and I’m looking forward to our rematch,” said Col. Willie Rios III, 10th Sustainment Brigade commander.
Both teams lined up and shook each other’s hands to show no hard feelings.
“It was a pleasure to allow the sergeants major an opportunity to feel like winners,” said Lt. Col. Brian Clarke, 63rd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion commander. “It’s good for the less talented athletes to occasionally win. It helps us root for the underdog at times.”