Bristol Badgers left it late in both games of Sunday’s doubleheader to defeat Kent Buccaneers and keep in theBBF AAA playoff race.
In the first game, which the Badgers won 4-1, the Bristol team were trailing 1-0 down to their last out at the top of the seventh and final inning. A walk and a stolen base by outfielder Sean Wilkins and pitcher Rhodri Theaker being hit by a pitch put runners on the bases. This was followed by a crucial two-out single by first baseman George Braeger which loaded them.
Another hit by pitch levelled the scores, and then Theaker stole home to put the Badgers in front. Up to the plate stepped 17 year old Charlie Turner who hit a double to drive in two runs, giving the Badgers breathing space for the final half inning. Theaker, who had struck out five Buccaneers in his complete game, secured the final three outs to grab the win.
The second game was equally dramatic as the Badgers held on for a 9-7 victory after scoring six runs in the final two innings. With the scores level at 3-3, again with two outs at in the top of the sixth inning, a double by Josh Boulton and singles by Seyi Awofadeju and Theaker put four runs for the Badgers on the board.
With pitcher Mattia Papini keeping the Buccaneers scoreless, the Badgers added two more runs in the final inning through a single by Boulton. The Kent side mounted a mini comeback with four runs before Turner stepped onto the mound and to make the final out and claim the save.
“They were two very good games of baseball and we we were able to get the sweep because we never gave up and had a fantastic approach at the plate. The Buccaneers pushed us hard all the way proving there are no easy games in this division,” said Rhodri Theaker, the Badgers player/manager. “It was particularly pleasing to see the contributions made by Charlie Turner and Josh Boulton under pressure at the end of each game. We now have to win both our final games to secure the playoff spot.”
Next Sunday, the Badgers will travel to take on the Herts Cardinals who are half a game ahead of Bristol’s senior team. Two wins will see the Badgers take their place in the playoffs.
The Bats wrap up their first season in the BBF AA division with a trip to Bracknell Inferno.
The Brunels and Buccaneers will send their All Stars to the annual South West and Wales Baseball Championship which will see them compete in Bournemouth for the Wessex and Severn divisions before the championship final between Cardiff Merlins I and Taunton Muskets.