Bristol Brunels moved into second place in the BBF/SWWBL Severn Division with a double win over the New Forest Knights on Sunday. A five run second inning helped put the Brunels two runs in front as they headed to the last inning before pitcher Phil Midgley shut the door on the Knights to secure an 8-7 win.

Second baseman Jordan Nichols put bat to ball with two hits, scoring two runs with shortstop Ash Day also scoring twice and driving in one run. Matt Dunkley-Roberts and Paul D’Amore drove in runs as Midgley held his nerve in the final inning to strike out three New Forest batters.

The second game was equally tight with pitcher Ryan Harris guiding the Bristol team to a 9-7 win over his four innings from the mound. Dunkley-Roberts and Noah McCurdy provided the run support, scoring three times and driving in two between them.

“The wins showed the character of the team who continued to fight for the results over the two games,” said Brunels manager Alex Lane-Kieltyka. “Our defence was outstanding all day and the lack of errors in game two was a major reason we were able to come away with the sweep.”

Ryan Harris is mobbed by his Brunels teammates after he pitched them to victory in the sweep over the New Forest Knights. (Credit : Laura Wehner)

In Cardiff, the Buccaneers came away with a split against Cardiff Merlins A, fighting back to claim the second game 20-10. The Buccaneers scored freely, with Sam Kaiser in fine form with three hits, three runs and three runs driven in. Fellow infielders Paul Blackburn and Tom Rowe were also in outstanding form at the plate with five hits and five runs driven in.

In the first game, the Bristol side were down 8-0 at the end of the second inning and despite some heroics with the bat from Kaiser, Charlie Deeks and Jamie Hartley, were unable to claw back the deficit – eventually going down 14-12.

“It was such a shame we were slow to start but true to form we responded well to the challenge of a very good Cardiff team,” said Deeks, the Buccaneers manager. “Sam Kaiser has been in outstanding form but I was delighted how Jamie Hartley and Paul Blackburn showed some leadership during the second game to get us a win.”

Back at Somerdale Pavilion, the Bristol Bats kept up the pressure on their divisional rivals by splitting the BBF AA double header against the Oxford Kings. Jake Boyer struck out eight Oxford batters over his five innings from the mound as the Bats ran out 7-1 winners in the second game.

Santiago Palmas and Tim Singiser led the Bats offense with three hits and three runs driven in before Kwan Cheung came in to strike out two Kings players to secure the win for the Bristol team. Fielding errors cost the Bats in the first game as they went down 6-4 despite talking an early 3-1 lead.

Declan Meads, Kwan and Lachie Ng all had multi hit games with Kwan thriving in clutch situations to drive in two runs, but the team were unable to score in the final inning to get the win.

“It was a tough loss in the first game but we bounced back in game two with hits from top to bottom of the lineup,” said Bats manager Tim Singiser.“Jake did a fantastic job from the mound only giving up two hits and striking out eight Oxford batters.”

Next up: Next weekend the Bats face Guildford Mavericks at Somerdale Pavilion for the first time this season. First pitch is at 12 noon and spectators are welcome.
The Badgers, Buccaneers and Brunels all have the weekend off, though on Saturday the first round of the Women’s Baseball League gets underway in Manchester, featuring talent from Bristol and across the SWWBL region under the SWWBL Serpents banner.