14 year old Jake Boyer pitched the Bristol Buccaneers to a 10-8 victory over New Forest Thunder Knights at Somerdale Pavilion on Sunday. Boyer struck out 10 Thunder Knights over four innings in the second game of the BBF/SWWBL double header.
The first game went the way of the Thunder Knights who launched a late rally scoring 12 runs in the final inning to run out 22-9 winners. Charlie Deeks, making his debut for the Buccaneers, had a good day with the bat racking up four hits, a double and four runs batted in.
“The first game was a disappointment particularly as we were only one run behind going into the last inning,” said Michael Buser, the Buccaneers manager. “Jake was fantastic from the mound in the second game and got great support from the team to record the win.”
Also at Somerdale, the Badgers took on the Herts Cardinals in their BBF AAA opener but lost two close games 5-4 and 5-2. Shortstop Mattia Papini had a productive afternoon with bat in hand with three hits while debutant catcher Aidan Schwartz hit a double and drove in one run.
Starting pitchers Luke Claflin and Deivydas Trinkunas struck out 12 Cardinals between them over their 11 innings of work but nine errors across the two games cost the home side dear.
“We felt that we lost the games rather than the Cardinals being too strong,” said Rhodri Theaker, manager of the Badgers. “The fielding errors didn’t help but I am confident we can iron those out before the next game.
For the Brunels, it was a trip to take on the Bears and despite pushing the Bournemouth side close, the Bristol team were on the wrong side of two losses. With 11 of the 12 players starting only their third season against the more experienced team, the Brunels more than held their own going down 12-6 and 11-10 in the double header.
Declan Ryan, Rich Evans and Jon Exon had multi hit games and Michele Botta hit the team’s first double of the year. Sam Stainsby struck out five Bears in his pitching stint and stole two bases.
The highlight of the game for the Brunels was a double play. Centre fielder Alex Lane-Kieltyka made a great running catch before making a relay throw to the infield who made the out at first base on a runner who failed to tag up.
“For the first game of the season, it was a very solid performance from the team and everyone made a good contribution to the afternoon,” said Brunels manager Rich Evans. “Absolutely delighted with the team spirit and the commitment everyone showed.”
The Badgers and Brunels return to action this Sunday at Somerdale. The Badgers host the Essex Redbacks and the Brunels entertain Cardiff Merlins II.
The Bristol Bats, who have moved up to the BBF AA division after winning last years SWWBL Championship, are due to make their season debut away from home against the Guildford Mavericks.
All games are scheduled to start at 12.00 noon.