Home runs by Billy Garrett and Jamie Godwin and another stellar pitching performance from Josh Boulton pushed Bristol Bats into the SWWBL/BBF A playoffs.
The Bats swept their closest rivals, Bournemouth Bears A, 13-0 and 18-2 and will now face the Cornish Claycutters on Sunday 14th August in Taunton competing for a place in the final the following week.
Garrett and Godwin hit their home runs in the first game behind Boulton’s shutout pitching performance. He struck out 11 Bears and was a one late hit from achieving a rare no-hitter.
The Bats offense clicked from the first innings with four runs and kept up the pressure on the Bears pitchers with 14 hits.
Rookie Boulton had a superb all round game with three hits and two runs driven in. Garrett, Paul Carter and Neptali Ortega-Gutiérrez all had multiple hit games, driving in six runs between them.
Ty Porter took over pitching duties for the second game and gave up just three earned runs as the Bats offense continued to dominate.
Michael Comport, Ortega-Gutierrez, Porter, Carter and Garrett drove in 12 runs between them with Garrett adding a double to his home run in the first game.
“I am delighted with our performance and we played really well on both sides of the plate,” said Ortega-Gutierrez, the Bats’ player manager. “Its a great achievement to reach the playoffs and we will be training hard to try and bring home some silverware.”
The Bats’ remaining games include a derby against the Buccaneers this coming Sunday and they round things off with a trip to Cardiff to take on Merlins II.
At Somerdale, the club’s development team, the Brunels, swept Merlins II 17-3 and 12-7.
The highlight of the first game was a complete game by 14 year old pitcher Jake Boyer who struck out eight Cardiff players over his five innings pitched.
He was supported by the Brunels offense who racked up 11 hits and stole 28 bases.
Rich Evans and Michael Buser both had multiple hit games while Charlie Deeks stole six bases and drove in two runs.
Victory in the second game was built on a solid team pitching performance. Charlie Turner, Michele Botta and Becky Cottrell kept the Cardiff offense quiet, allowing the Brunels to score regularly with Buser, Turner and Rachel Everett producing hits when they were needed.
“We played some really good baseball and improved our fielding which had not been great over the past few weeks,” said Evans, the team’s player/manager. “We put together some quality at bats and took advantage of situations with great base running to keep the scoreboard turning over.”
Bristol Buccaneers took on the Cornish Claycutters, the Wessex Division leaders, and went down in both games, losing 27-2 and 19-9.
With several key players unavailable the Buccaneers fought hard in difficult circumstances but couldn’t get after the Claycutters’ pitcher, registering just seven hits in the first game.
The second game was closer with the Buccaneers able to get their offense going with Josh Williams-Trim, Alex Bright, Ting Hin Kui and Jen Bramhall all having multi hit games.
“With a lot of our key players unavailable, it was always going to be a tough afternoon but the players all responded and kept playing until the end, said player/manager Williams-Trim. “We have a tough game against the Bats next week but we are all determined to finish the season on a high.”
This coming Sunday, the Brunels face a difficult task against Cardiff Merlins I, the Severn Division leaders and current SWWBL champions while the Bats will take on the Buccaneers in the last club derby of the season.
Both games are at Somerdale Pavilion and start at 12 noon and spectators are welcome.