Bats catcher Paul Gardiner had an excellent defensive game as well as scoring three runs against Oxford Kings on Sunday.

Bristol Bats pulled off a rare triple play in their first game against Oxford Kings on Sunday but a defeat meant an end to the team’s BBF AA playoff hopes.

Rain brought the first game to an end at the top of the seventh inning as conditions became too dangerous and meant a 10-10 tie.

It was at the top of the seventh inning that the Bats completed the triple play with Michael Comport and Antonio Guzman combing to make the three outs to end the inning. The Bristol side scored early with Alex Brown and Man Hoi Kwan having excellent games at the plate contributing five hits and five runs driven in between them. Catcher Christopher D’Angelo hit a double and scored two runs as the lead exchanged hands on a regular basis while Josh Boulton struck out seven batters over his five innings pitched.

A lull in the weather meant the second game went ahead but a 10 run final inning secured an 18-10 victory for the Oxford Kings. Michael Comport and Antonio Guzman led the offense for the Bats who were leading 8-3 before the Kings’ 15 run surge in the seventh and eighth innings. The Bats catcher in the second game, Paul Gardiner, had an outstanding game throwing out four Oxford runners and calling an excellent game for D’Angelo who pitched six tight innings and struck out seven Oxford batters.

“It was a disappointing end to our first season up a standard in the BBF AA division but we acquitted ourselves very well at times with some excellent wins,” said the Bats manager Neptali Ortega-Gutierrez. “The new players have done well and we will want to end on a high in a couple of weeks when we take on Bracknell Inferno”.

Buccaneers pitcher Jake Boyer attempts to pick off a Cardiff batter at first base.

The Buccaneers travelled to Cardiff to take on Merlins I, the Severn Division champions, in their final SWWBL/BBF A fixture. The Bristol team pushed the champions hard in two high quality games of baseball before going down 7-2 and 7-6.

Wai Fu Lam was outstanding in the first game, pitching four tight innings, making some great defensive plays and contributing two hits and driving in the two Buccaneers runs. Catcher Sam Stainsby also shone picking off a runner at second as the Buccaneers tight defence kept the Cardiff bats at bay.

In the second game, the Buccaneers led 5-2 going into the fifth innings behind another excellent pitching performance by Jake Boyer but a strong Cardiff finish took them to the 7-6 victory. Boyer struck out eight Merlins and only allowed three walks over his six innings while the Buccaneers defense supported him with an error free afternoon. Fu was strong at the plate again with two hits and three runs driven in. Outfielder Paul Blackburn hit a double as the Bristol side kept scoring.

“It was probably our best performance the season and to nearly produce a win against a very good Cardiff side is a tribute to how far we have come this year,” said Michael Buser, the Buccaneers player/manager. “The team’s attitude has been excellent and if a couple of tight games had gone our way, we could have made the playoffs.”

Next up: Although the Brunels and Buccaneers have completed their seasons, the Badgers travel to Kent to take on the Buccaneers in their final BBF AAA double header.

Buccaneers pitchers Jake Boyer (left) and Wai Fu Lam out in two excellent performances and Cardiff Merlins I on Sunday.