BATS SHOT DOWN BY MUSKETS TO END PLAY OFF HOPES

Pär Eliasson scores against Bournemouth Bears during Bristol Badgers’ double victory at the weekend. (picture courtesy of Emma Harris Photography)

Bristol Bats’ hopes of reaching the BBF A finals were dashed as they went down 23-7 to Taunton Muskets on Sunday.

The Bats went behind early and couldn’t contain the Muskets’ offense with a late grand slam by the Muskets’ third baseman, Chris Chantrey, putting the game out of reach.

“The Muskets were just too strong on the day but despite the final result, we can be pleased with the way we competed until the final game,” said Tom Rowe, the Bats player manager. “This has been a difficult season for everyone but we have a really solid base of good players we can build on.”

Earlier in day, the Bristol Buccaneers were also in action against the Muskets at Somerdale Pavilion. A win for the home team would have put the Bats through but the development team lost a nail biting game 17-15 to the eventual South West A champions.

Outfielder Jamie Hartley continued to impress in his first season pulling off a remarkable catch and driving in three runs.

The Buccaneers took an early lead but couldn’t control a fifth inning surge by the Taunton team who put five unanswered runs on the board.

Debutant Emma Harris had three hits and an RBI while Phil Midgley, Molly Willcox, Henry Mcnamara and Brian Say also had multi hit games.

“The team has done fantastically well and improved with every game this season,” said assistant manager Phil Midgley. “For over three quarters of the team, this was their first time on a baseball field and if it had been a full season, it wouldn’t have been long until we recorded the first win. The whole club is very proud of the effort that every single Buccaneer has put in to learning the game and getting better.”

Over on the club’s main field, the Badgers finished their regular season by winning both games of their double header against BBF AA rivals, the Bournemouth Bears.

The Bristol team won the first game 7-6 through a walk off single by first baseman Carlson Charles at the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Badgers racked up 14 hits on the day with Pär Elliason and Sampson Yuen having multiple hit days.

In the second game, the Badgers took an early 7-1 lead with Luke Claflin, Carlson Charles, Paul Gardiner and George Braeger all driving in runs.

Winning pitcher Rhodri Theaker had a had good day on the mound striking out eight Bears over his seven innings pitched.

“We are really pleased to have ended the season by beating the Bears who are the current BBF AA champions,” said club head coach Rhod Theaker. “The fact we couldn’t train or play until the beginning of August really hurt us but we have finished strongly and can look forward to a successful 2021.”

For the next two weekends, Bristol Baseball Club plays host to the British Baseball Federation (BBF) AA and A playoffs and finals at Somerdale Pavilion in Keynsham.

First up, on Saturday 12th September, is the AA playoffs featuring the regional division winners . On Saturday the Rebeldes from Taunton take on the South Coast Pirates at 11.30am while Long Eaton Storm take on the Milton Keynes Bucks at 3.00pm.

The winners of each game will meet in the final on the following day to decide the 2020 BBF AA champions.

The following weekend (19th and 20th September), the club hosts the BBF A playoffs and finals. Details will be available next week.

“This is a major achievement for the club and for baseball in the region,” said club chairman Richard Evans. “It is a reflection of what the club has achieved over the past 12 years and we will be working hard to welcome players from across the country and stage the biggest baseball event seen in the south west.”