The Bristol Bats were crowned 2022 SWWBL/BBF champions after they beat Cardiff Merlins I in a thrilling final in Cardiff on Sunday.
The Bats won the game 8-6 with pitcher Ty Porter and outfielder Billy Garrett providing the decisive moments that swung the game in favour of the Bristol team.
Porter was on top form over his seven innings pitched, striking out nine Merlins and only allowing three walks.
Crucially, he limited the Cardiff side to just one run in six of the innings and shut them out in the second.
His real test came in the last inning with the Bats just three runs ahead. Despite giving up one run, he struck out the final Cardiff batter to secure the memorable victory.
Billy Garrett hit the only home run of the game in the second inning. His two run blast helped the Bats establish a 7-1 lead early in the game.
Third baseman Michael Comport made a valuable contribution at the plate with three hits and three runs and some vital defensive plays.
The Bats were tight in the field making crucial plays and stole 12 bases putting pressure on the Merlins pitchers and defense.
“Being crowned the 2022 SWWBL champions is a great achievement and the result of the hard work and commitment the team has put in over the season,” said Neptali Ortega-Gutiérrez, the Bats player manager. “It was a real team performance with everyone contributing against a very good Cardiff team.
“As champions, we start preparing for the national playoffs which take place in early September and are determined to add more silverware this season.”
The Bats will play in the BBF A national semi-finals on Saturday 10th September at Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham. Details are to be confirmed.
There was further good news for the club on Sunday as the Badgers qualified for the BBF AAA wild card game after splitting their double header against Bournemouth Bears.
The Badgers went down 12-2 in the first game, struggling against the pitching of Jose Lopez.
The tables were turned in the second game as the Badgers ran out 11-4 winners behind pitcher Luke Claflin.
Claflin struck out six Bears over his seven innings pitched and only allowed two earned runs. He also had a good day with the bat in hand, with two hits including a vital double.
Catcher Tom Hollies, shortstop Mattia Papini and first baseman Carlson Charles led the offensive onslaught with eight hits, eight runs driven in and five doubles between them.
“We are delighted to have reached the playoffs,” said Badgers player/manager Rhodri Theaker. “Whilst the first game was disappointing, we showed what we are capable of in the second game and will be carrying that level through to the wild card game.”
The Badgers take on East London Latin Boys this coming Sunday in the wild card game, which will be held at the national baseball centre at Farnham Park near Stroud.
The game starts at 11.00am with the winners moving into the semi-finals.