The Bristol Badgers secured two wins over SW Rebeldes in their British Baseball Federation (BBF) AAA double header to cap off a bumper weekend of baseball for the club.
The Badgers beat last years champions 6-3 and 9-8 at Somerdale Pavilion, with pitchers Mike Osbourn and Luke Claflin making a major contributions to both victories.
Mike Osbourn pitched a masterclass in the first game limiting a strong Rebeldes line up to just three runs while getting good run support from the Badgers lineup.
In the second game, Claflin pitched eight innings striking out 15 Rebeldes players and then hit a walk off single to secure the victory for the Bristol team.
Left fielder George Braeger and catcher Sampson Yuen both had multiple hits in the second match.
“It was a real pleasure to see Mike and Luke in action,” said Badgers player coach Rhodri Theaker. “I was lucky to be able to catch Mike in the first game and his control and movement was outstanding.”
The Badgers’ success followed Saturday’s second round of the national women’s tournament which saw the club host six teams from across the country.
The Bobcats staged two dramatic comebacks against London Mayhem and the Sheffield Bruins but lost both games to great catches which ended the Bristol team’s fightbacks.
The tournament also saw teams from Telford, Cambridge and Slough playing six games on the day.
“We are very proud of the Bobcats who showed great fighting spirit and without the two catches, we might have won both games,” said Molly Willcox, co-manager of the Bristol Bobcats. “It was fantastic to see around 100 people playing and supporting the teams who travelled to play some great baseball.”
Sunday also saw the club’s A teams in action in the BBF/South West and Wales Baseball League (SWWBL).
The Bats travelled to Cornwall to take on the Claycutters and came away with 27-15 and 25-11 victories with outfielder Billy Garrett hitting his first career home run.
Also at Somerdale on the Sunday, the Buccaneers took on division favourites the Cardiff Merlins.
Despite losing 17-10 and 17-0 to the much vaunted Cardiff pitchers, the Buccaneers put up a strong fight on a scorching afternoon, stealing 19 bases.
The Brunels were away to the Taunton Muskets and split their double header.
The Muskets won the first 18-17 but the Brunels rallied to win the second 18-16 on the back of aggressive base running and solid hitting.
Six Brunels had multiple hits in the first game providing support to pitchers Declan Ryan and Becky Cottrell.
In the second game, starting pitcher Jo Sutcliffe got good run support over his four innings before Michael Comport struck out the final three Muskets to secure the win.
“The team competes right up until the final out and every players makes a positive contribution to every game,” said Michael Buser, catcher and assistant manager of the Brunels. “Its a real joy to see players like Matt Barter, who had a couple of hits, and Rachel Everett, who was solid at first base, improve game by game.”
The Bristol teams all have a weekend off before resuming the league schedules on the 26th and 27th June.
“I think we just witnessed the best ever weekend of baseball on and off the field, made possible by all the volunteers who came to help and the team at Somerdale,” said club Chairman Richard Evans. “Its always exciting to see the results come in and the wins are always good. We were honoured to host the women’s tournament and see the Bobcats giving their best and then on Sunday winning five of our eight games.”