Bristol Badgers secured their first victory of the season on Sunday with a 5-4 victory over BBF AAA rivals Essex Redbacks in the first game of their double header at Somerdale Pavilion. The Badgers leapt into an early 5-1 lead and had to hold off a Redbacks comeback in the fifth inning claim the win.
Catcher Aidan Schwartz lead the Badgers offense with two hits while Luke Claflin and Mike Osborn drove in a run each. Winning pitcher Doug Scriver struck out five Redbacks over his four innings pitched before Osborn stepped up for the save.
The second game was also a tight affair which was decided by a late Redbacks surge in the sixth and seventh innings as they held on to win 13-10. Outfielder Darius Tamosiunas drove in two runs for the Badgers while Schwartz scored two runs as the Bristol team fought back from a 5-3 deficit at the end of the fifth inning.
“Whilst it was good to get our first win in the books, it was disappointing to lose the second game which was definitely there for the taking,” said Rhodri Theaker, the Badgers player/manager. “We worked hard to improve our error count from last week but need to improve on hitting, particularly with runners in scoring position.”
Also at Somerdale, the Bristol Brunels took on Cardiff Merlins II and despite good individual performances, went down 11-5 and 13-9.
Debutant Sam Kaiser had a good day with some excellent defensive plays at shortstop as well as driving in three runs and stealing five bases. Despite Kaiser’s performance, the Brunels offense was quiet in the first game and could not provide enough run support for pitcher Michele Botta.
The second game saw the Brunels bats come to life as they wracked up 11 hits, with Kaiser, Alex Lane-Kieltyka and Rich Evans all having multi-hit games. Four crucial fielding errors cost the Brunels dear, with the Cardiff side able to take advantage and keep their scoreboard ticking over.
“It was a frustrating afternoon as we didn’t perform well on both sides of the plate in the same game,” said Richard Evans, the Brunels player/manager. “It was however very encouraging to see Sam Kaiser, Brodie Back and Alex Brugman all contributing on their debuts.”
The Bats scheduled game against Guildford was postponed because of the weather.
Next weekend the Badgers travel to Bournemouth to take on the Bears, while all the other Bristol sides have a weekend off.