Outfielder Ed Smith’s crucial late heroics at the plate kickstarted Bristol Buccaneers’ victory in the first game of their double header against Cardiff Merlins II at Somerdale Pavilion on Sunday.
With the Buccaneers still one run behind at the top of the fifth inning, rookie Smith hit a two-out single to advance Jean-Pierre Bernard to third and keep the game alive. Third baseman Paul Blackburn then stepped up to drive in Bernard and take the game into extra innings. The Buccaneers had been 8-4 down before Smith and Blackburn completed the comeback to tie the scores.
After Jake Boyer struck out three Cardiff players at the bottom of the fifth inning to keep the scores level, the Buccaneers scored four runs in the sixth before the Bristol team secured the 12-8 win by keeping the Merlins scoreless. Blackburn and Bernard both had multi hits games and drove in four runs as the Buccaneers launched their late game comeback.
The 10-7 victory in the second game completed the sweep and allowed the Buccaneers to keep the pressure on for a playoff place in the BBF/SWWBL Wessex Division. Tim Clough and Wai Fu Lam both excelled with the bat with five hits and seven runs driven in. Clough also contributed from the pitcher’s mound along with Phil Midgley and Boyer as they struck out six Merlins between them.
The Buccaneers also produced a good display in the field committing just two errors across the two games, with outfielder Michael Buser and first baseman Bernard producing outstanding catches to make crucial outs.
“This was a complete team performance with everyone contributing on both sides of the plate,” said Phil Midgley, the Buccaneers assistant manager. “We showed great character to comeback from four runs down in the first game and our discipline at the plate was very impressive in both games.”
Whilst the Buccaneers have a weekend off, the Brunels return to action with a trip to the New Forest Thunder Knights while the Bristol Bats welcome the Guildford Mavericks to Somerdale for their BBF AA clash.
On Saturday, the Badgers travel to Finsbury Park for their BBF AAA double header against London Metros.