Firefighters triumph in Guns vs. Hoses charity softball game

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove
The Groveport Recreation Department hosted a charity slow pitch softball game to benefit the Groveport Food Pantry between the Groveport Police, Madison Township Police, and the Madison Township Fire Department on June 4 in Groveport Park. A large crowed viewed the game and approximately 300 food items were collected for the food pantry. The firefighters defeated the police officers 24-8. Pictured here is Groveport Police Officer Tisha Pack warming up prior to the game.

The Madison Township Fire Department now has bragging rights over the Groveport Police and Madison Township Police following the firefighters’ 24-8 victory over the police in the first Guns vs. Hoses charity softball game.

The game, held at Groveport Park on a gloriously sunny June 4 afternoon, benefitted the Groveport Food Pantry. The event drew a large crowd and resulted in approximately 300 food items being donated to the Groveport Food Pantry. The police officers and firefighters said they hope this fun event for the community will become an annual occurrence.

The game was close for a couple of innings until the firefighters pulled away with a couple of big scoring innings that featured a barrage of hits, including an inside the park home run blast by Firefighter Alec Stonerock.

Winning Madison Township Fire Department pitcher Howard Hahn delivers a pitch to home plate.

During one of the firefighters’ big scoring innings, one of the fire department hitters hammered a long drive that hit the top of the outfield fence but stayed in play. A firefighter who was on first base sprinted around the base to score, but the batter who hit the long ball only made it to first base, prompting the fellow who scored to laughingly say, while still panting from his sprint, “Why is he still on first base?” Someone from the firefighter bench replied, “It’s the longest single in Groveport history!” The batter said, “I thought it was gone so I didn’t run fast!”

Groveport Police Lt. Josh Short at work on the mound.

As the firefighters began to run up the score, Madison Township Police Chief Gary York joked, “The police officers stay busy all the time so we didn’t have a lot of time to practice like the firefighters.”

York then added, “This is a great event for a good cause and its good for camaraderie.”

Following the game after the Guns vs. Hoses trophy was presented to the firefighters, Groveport City Councilman and member of the Madison Township Fire Department Ed Dildine said with a smile, “This trophy will never see the inside of a police station!”

On this swing, Madison Township Firefighter Alec Stonerock hammered an inside the park home run.
Groveport Police Officer Ryan Ripson gets ready to field the ball at third base.
Madison Township firefighters look on as one of their team members is at bat.
Groveport Police Detective Josh Gilbert hits a single.
Both teams exhibit camaraderie and share congratulations following the game.
The Madison Township Fire Department team celebrates their victory by hoisting the Guns vs. Hoses Trophy.
Groveport Police mascot and social media star Bendi offered support during the game.
The winning Madison Township Fire Department team.
Groveport Police Chief Casey Adams, Groveport Mayor Lance Westcamp, and Madison Township Police Chief Gary York after the game.

Groveport Police Lt. Josh Short’s sly reply to this was, “We understand the fire department is limited in their abilities so we took it easy on them today.”

Added Short, “In all seriousness, despite the outcome for the police, the real winners today are the food pantry and the community.”

Dildine thanked the Groveport Recreation Department for its help in organizing the game and added, “This was a fun competition and good for the community and food pantry. We look forward to playing again next year.”

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