Josh Boulton’s all round performance in the 13-11 victory against Richmond Dragons on Sunday helped keep Bristol Bats in the BBF AA playoff race. Boulton hit his first ever home run which scored three runs as well as striking out five Dragons over his five innings pitched.
He was not the only Bristol player who had a good game with the bat in hand. Catcher Tim Singiser and shortstop Alex Brown had seven hits between them as the Bats scored 12 runs in the middle of the nine inning game. Despite some late scares, relief pitcher Sean Wilkins kept the Dragons at bay with two strikeouts over his four innings from the mound.
“It was a really good and solid team performance behind Josh’s MVP day,” said Bats manager Neptali Ortega-Guttierrez. “We showed great character in the late innings to secure the win and keep in the playoff race.”
At Somerdale, the Buccaneers split their BBF/SWWBL A double header with Wessex Division leaders, the Weston Jets. The Buccaneers took the first game on the back of strong pitching from Fu Wai Lam and Jake Boyer who struck out seven Jets while giving up just five walks. Michael Buser led the way on offense with three hits, three runs driven in and three stolen bases.
The Jets took control of the second game early on, leaping out to a 5-2 lead after three innings before pulling away to a 19-6 victory while taking advantage of eight Buccaneers fielding errors. Utility player Phil Midgley was the only Bristol player to have any success against Marshall Hanney, the Weston pitcher, with two hits and a run driven in.
“We played some of our best baseball of the season in the first game with tight pitching, sensible batting and solid defense,” said player/manager Michael Buser. “Our errors in the field really hindered us in game two and we need to put that right for next week.”
The Badgers were also in action at Somerdale against BBF AAA division leaders, the Bournemouth Bears. It was a tough afternoon for the Bristol side who went down 20-7 and 16-12 in the double header.
Despite matching the Bears for hits in the first game, the Badgers were unable to convert the baserunners into runs. Badgers shortstop Mattia Papini kept up his excellent season with three hits and two runs driven in. Outfielder Seyi Awofadeju went four for four at the plate, scoring once while first baseman Mike Osborn contributed two hits and two runs driven in.
The Badgers fell short in the second game despite scoring 10 runs across the fourth, fifth and six innings. Left fielder Anthony Desgardin led the way with three hits and four runs driven in while third baseman Deivydas Trinkunas hit a double.
“The Bears are a very good team but I was pleased with the way we responded after the first game to push them close,” said Rhodri Theaker, the Badgers player/manager. “There is no doubt we have the ability to have a good second half of the season and push for one of the playoff spots.”
The Brunels travelled to Cardiff to take on the unbeaten Merlins I and went down 6-12 and 0-17 in their BBF/SWWBL A double header. The Bristol team pushed the title favourites hard in the first game, holding them to a one run lead until the bottom of the fourth inning when the Merlins scored five runs. Six Brunels had multi hit days with rookies Sam Kaiser, Justin Trory and Ryan Harris having six hits and three RBI between them.
In the second game, Bristol’s development team struggled against the Merlins ace pitcher Saliya Wijesinghe who threw a rare perfect game, striking out 16 Brunels over his six innings pitched.
“I was absolutely delighted with the way the team performed against Merlins I,” said Richard Evans, the Brunels player/manager. “Everyone is improving and it was particularly pleasing to see Justin, Ryan and Sam continuing to make progress in all aspects of their games. I also want to congratulate Saliya on his perfect game which while being tough for us, was a real learning experience.”
On Saturday, the Bobcats hosted the next round of the BBF Women’s Baseball League.
Despite losing both their games to Belles Baseball and London Mayhem, the team showed much improvement from the last round of matches. Becky Cottrell struck out five Belles in the first game while Niamh Cogley-Rock contributed a hit and an RBI at the plate.
Infielder Rachel Everett hit a double in the game against London Mayhem with Cottrell also contributing a double.
“It was encouraging to see improvements with better plate disciple and more sharpness in the field,” said manager Carlson Charles. “The team can take a lot of positives from the weekend and move forward for the next round.”
Next weekend, the Badgers and the Brunels are both at Somerdale Pavilion. The Badgers welcome Richmond Knights for their AAA double header, while the Brunels take on the Taunton Muskets.
Both games start at 12 noon and spectators are welcome.