Bahamian Championship

Cap tip Blair Setford

Edney “The Heat” Bethel Leads the Way

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‘This one was sweet’

Sports Reporter
rdorsett (at)

A dominating performance from arguably the best pitcher in the country led the way as the Bahamas Softball Federation crowned a new men’s champion at its National Round Robin.

Edney “The Heat” Bethel recorded a tournament high 13 strikeouts as his DRS Jets of Eleuthera claimed the title with a 4-2 win over the Green Cay Turtles of Abaco Saturday night at St Paul’s College Park, Grand Bahama.

Bethel called the win a major milestone in his storied local career.
“This was a huge win and to me it might be the biggest win I ever had in my career,” he said. “It was a good tournament, even though Nassau was having their problems and they could not bring a team in, the other teams that came down did well and we had a good showing. I was just happy we were able to come together when we did. This was a great win and it is great to have J C (James Cistern) back.”

After he gave up an early single, Bethel struck out the next two hitters he faced to close out the first inning.

The Jets reached the scoreboard first in the bottom half of the inning when Bethel, who also serves as his team’s leadoff hitter, was brought home on an RBI double from veteran catcher Edmund Bethel.

“The Heat” continued to control the game from the mound with relative ease in the second inning when he retired the side in order with a groundout followed by another pair of strikeouts.

In the Jets next at bat, Angelo Bethel walked, Jeff Bethel singled and Horatio Green belted a two RBI single which scored both to give the Jets a 3-0 lead. The Jets added another run in the fourth when Green scored to give the Jets their biggest lead of the game, 4-0.
Bethel kept the Turtles off the scoreboard in the fifth when he struckout the side, but allowed two runs in the sixth to Neil Lowe and Grant Albury, which trimmed the deficit to just two runs.

Turtles pitcher William Weatherford, who had seven strikeouts of his own, kept the Turtles within striking distance by keeping the Jets off the scoreboard in the sixth. However, the rally would be short lived.

Fittingly, Bethel would end the game in dominant fashion when he struck out the side in the top of the seventh to clinch the game and the title for the Jets.

Edmund Bethel said the win was a means of paying homage to the players’ hometown, which claimed a title for the first time in about two decades. “This one was sweet” he said. “We wanted this so bad for a really long time and now JC is back.”

Editor’s note: Some familiar names in the story above, Bethel, Albury and Weatherford. Though squaring off on different teams in the finals of this year’s Bahamian championship, the three were teammates on Haziel McDonald’s Texaco Pirates, when they rose to great heights at the AAU International Tournament in Orlando, Florida. In 2004, the Pirates — led by the trio, captured the consolation bracket at the AAU. Just a year later, they gave eventual champions The Bar/Circle Tap the toughest game of their championship run, with Bethel and Weatherford playing key roles. Haziel’s Pirates continued to build their roster, finishing in the elite 8 of the 40 team tourney in 2008, with the likes of Derek Mayson, Rhys Casley, Louie Joglar, Rob Scheller, Rob Schweyer, Doug Sleep, Rob Fawcett, Steve Mullaley and Jason Hill donning the red, black and gold of the Texaco Pirates during their runs in the mid-2000’s. In 2007, the island – Man-o-War Cay hosting a Bahamian Invitational tournament, inviting us to join in the fun, with Ballparkradio. It was Grant Albury and William Weatherford as lead divers on the snorkel trip planned by Haziel and others on the island. Good to see their names in print again, and see that they still handle the bat as well as a snorkel and conch shell. McDonald, Albury and Weatherford, and their families were the gracious hosts to one of the greatest fastpitch trips I’ve ever enjoyed.

For more on Man-O-War, click here.. For Google’s bird’s eye view of Man-O-War, click here.

Man-O-War Cay, Abaco, Bahamas, Fastpitch Heaven in the Bahamas
(click to enlarge–twice on some browsers to really enlarge)

More about Man-O-War Cay, Abaco, Bahamas:
Source: Wikipedia

Man-O-War Cay is a small island in the Abaco region of the Bahamas.
It has a population of about 300 Bahamian residents and about 135 foreign resident families. During the summer some local houses are rented by vacationing families that have a reputation as good house guests (the exclusive nature of the locals leads noisier or more youthful vacationers to other islands). The island is famous for its boat-building history. William H. Albury was famous in the country for his tremendous boat building skills. He built his first schooner at the age of 14. Albury died in 1972, but the boat building on the Cay still lives on. The last big boat built by “Uncle Will” and the Albury Brothers ship yard, as he had come be to known, was the Esperanto. The Esperanto was later renamed The William H. Albury in his honor, and is still in service and can be chartered. The newer generations have resorted to building fiberglass boats as opposed to wooden vessels.

This island is about 2.5 miles long(4 km), but relatively narrow, often less than 100 meters between the harbor and beach side of the Island. A section of island called “The Narrows” by the locals is exceptionally narrow, with a beach on both sides separated by a roadway built into the rock formation between them, less than 10 meters across. The harbor side of the island faces Marsh Harbour, and a beach side runs the length of the opposite shore.

There are two small grocery stores, a marina, a few gift shops, a hardware shop, a few restaurants, a bakery, a golf-cart rental office (the narrow roads, often unpaved outside of the town center, only permit the use of golf-carts or other small vehicles).

Wreckage of the USS Adirondack which ran aground in August 1862 is strown on the reef just northeast of Man-O-War. Public travel to Man-O-War Cay is via ferry from Marsh Harbour.

The diving, snorleling and watersports around the island are truly exceptional. The people are both friendly and good natured. The island is very safe with very little crime and is clean and well kept.

The home builders of Man O War are know throught the Bahamas for building homes that ” Are built like Ships, but bolted to the land”. Indeed all the rafters and structure are bolted together similar to ship construction and resist the hurricanes very well. The residents stand as a reminder of the independent thinking and self reliance of the founders of the Bahamas. Several of the local boat builders still make the occasional “Abaco” Dingy boats in their native woods of Madera mahogany and other Bahamian hardwoods. They are today considered works of art and sought after by those who appresiate fine old world wooden vessels.

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