The Bristol Badgers are the 2017 South West Baseball League (SWBL) Champions.
They overcame Southern Conference Champions, the Exeter Spitfires 9-3 at Somerdale Pavilion Sunday to claim the title for the first time in the club’s history.
Manager and MVP Tom Hollies pitched a complete game, giving up just five hits while striking out 10 Spitfires. He also drove in outfielder Vilmantas Katinas in the third inning to get the first Badger run on the board and registered three RBIs.
The Badgers broke open a tight game in the fourth inning with five runs. Rhodri Theaker got things started by reaching first base on a Spitfires error before he and his brother Rhian scored.
Hollies then drove in two runs before Nils Eliasson drove him in with a single.
Eliasson was the Badgers top batter on the day with three hits and two RBIs. Nick South and Katinas scored two and three runs respectively.
Defensively the Badgers were perfect, catching all outfield fly balls and making crucial infield outs to strangle the Spitfires offense at source.
The Badgers also put pressure on the Spitfires defense by stealing five bases in front of an enthusiastic crowd.
“This was by far and away the best team performance of the season with every player making crucial contributions when it mattered,” said Hollies. “Every single player on the Badgers roster deserves credit for the way they played during the season and we are delighted that we brought the trophy home to Bristol for the first time ever.”
“A great deal of credit for the club’s successful season should go to coach and catcher Rhodri Theaker who has driven up the standard of every player in the club over the season,” added Hollies. “The players have responded positively to him and their efforts have been rewarded with the trophy.”
As part of the first SWBL Championship Sunday, the Southern Conference All Stars beat the Northern Conference 7-5 as the warm up for the final later in the day.
Bristol Baseball Club is now preparing for its annual awards evening which will be held on Saturday 16th September from 7.00pm at Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham.
With the Bristol Bats finishing second to the Badgers in the Northern Conference, it promises to be a celebratory evening.