The Bristol Badgers offense scored early to support pitcher Mike Osborn and claim the second game of their BBF AAA double header on Sunday against Bournemouth Bears.

Right fielder John Brownlee hit his first home run of the season, driving in two runs while shortstop Mattia Pappini had two hits, two runs and two stolen bases as the Bristol team scored six runs in the first two innings.

The early runs allowed pitcher Mike Osborn to keep the home side quiet as he struck out four Bears’ batters over his seven innings pitched.

In the first game the Badgers struggled against the pitching of Jose Lopez and failed to score despite leaving eight men on base.

The result means the Badgers are still just one game behind the Bears, with four games in hand, as they push for a September play off spot.

“We knew it was going to be a tough afternoon but I was delighted with the way we responded after the first game and got runs on the board early,” said Badgers player manager Rhodri Theaker. “Mike’s pitching was excellent again and John Brownlee’s home run gave us the momentum we needed. Our defensive effort was outstanding and key plays from Doug Scriver in centre field in Mattia at short kept us ahead in the second game and reduced Bears’ runs in the first.”

The Bristol Bobcats were up against the Belles, the defending BBF Women’s Baseball champions, in the first round of the 2022 competition on Saturday.

Despite going down 12-17 and 8-12 in Bracknell, the Bobcats fought hard with infielder Coral Pike having a great afternoon with the bat.

Pike hit two doubles, and drove in four runs in the first game. Catcher Dani Searson provided support with two hits and two runs batted in but in the end the Belles proved too strong.

The second game was closer but despite four late runs from the Bobcats, with Searson again having a multi-hit game, the Belles hung on to claim the win.

“We played some good baseball and fought hard against a very good team,” said Pau Miquel Mir, the Bobcats manager. “Our fielding and overall play was excellent and we have learnt some valuable lessons which we will be testing out on the training field before our next game.”

The Bristol Bats game against Cardiff Merlins II was rained off before a pitch was thrown while the Brunels had their game against the Cornish Claycutters abandoned after three innings with the scores tied at 3-3.

Next Sunday, the Badgers face up to the SW Rebeldes and the Bats take on Weston Jets. Both games are at Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham.

The Brunels travel to Cardiff to take on the Merlins, the reigning SWWBL champions.