It was the most successful weekend of the season so far for Bristol Baseball Club with three of its teams sweeping the opposition.
At Somerdale, the Badgers overcame Croydon Pirates in their BBF AAA double header 13-1 and 23-11. In the first game, the Badgers were six runs up after the first two innings with first baseman Mike Osborn leading the way with two hits and two runs as well as driving in three runs. Pitcher Nerius Tamosiunas continued his good 2023 form over his five innings, giving up just one run.
The second game turned into a run fest with the Badgers coming from three runs down at the top of the fifth inning with a game changing 20 run blast in the fifth and sixth innings. Shortstop Mattia Papini and outfielder Seyi Awofadeju led the way with eight hits, six runs and seven runs batted in between them. Aiden Schwartz also had a multi hit day at the plate with Luke Claflin pitching four solid innings.
“The first game was our best performance to date. We got a little cocky entering game two but showed tremendous mental strength to fight back and win back momentum,” said Rhodri Theaker, the Badgers player/manager.
In Surrey, the Bats got the better of the Guildford Mavericks in their BBF AA fixture winning 10-4 and 9-8. The Bats took charge early scoring five runs in the first innings with Alex Brown wracking up three of the teams ten hits. Catcher Chris D’Angelo and outfielder Henry McNamara drove in five runs while pitcher Josh Boulton struck out eight Mavericks over his six innings pitched.
A four run ninth inning in the second game wrapped up the sweep as the Bats held off the Guildford team to secure the second victory of the day. Michael Comport, D’Angelo, Mcnamara, Brown and Sean Wilkins all hit well while pitchers Wilkins and Jamie Godwin struck out 11 Guildford players during the thrilling nine inning game.
“It was great to bounce back after last week’s disappointment with our fielding much improved,” said Neptali Ortega-Guitierrez, the player/manager of the Bats. “Our pitching was solid and we made sure our at bats counted at crucial times.”
The Brunels registered their first wins of the season in Cardiff, beating Merlins II 16-13 and 13-4 in the BBF/SWWBL A clash. The Brunels fought back from an 11-6 deficit in the fourth inning to level the scores at the bottom of the fifth. A four run final inning gave the Bristol team vital breathing space before pitcher Sam Stainsby closed out the game to secure the win.
Stainsby also did well with the bat with two hits and two runs. Sam Kaiser, Rich Evans and Ryan Harris also had multi hit games scoring five runs between them. Third baseman Tom Carr and outfielder Alex Lane-Kieltyka scored six runs after being walked and then stealing bases to cross the plate. The Brunels dominated the second game. Pitcher Becky Cottrell had a superb all round game with four hits and gave up just three runs from the mound over her four innings pitched.
“This was our best performance by a long way and it was a real team effort in which every player fought hard and did exactly what was asked of them,” said Rich Evans, the Brunels player manager. “It was fantastic to see the less experienced players step up to the plate when needed and make valuable contributions to the wins.”
It was a less successful day for the Buccaneers who lost their double header in Weston against the Jets who won 12-5 and 9-8. The Buccaneers offense struggled against the Weston pitching in the first game with only Phil Midgley, Jake Boyer and Wai Fu Lam getting hits.
The second game was close but despite a solid pitching performance from Boyer, the Jets walked it off to maintain their unbeaten Wessex Division record.
“It was a very disappointing day to say the least,” said the Buccaneers player/manager Michael Buser. “We have lots we need focus on over the next couple of weeks at training before we welcome the Cornish Claycutters to Somerdale.”
On Saturday, the Badgers welcome London Metros, the AAA division leaders, to Somerdale for an 11.00am start while on Sunday the Bats travel to Oxford to take on the Kings. The SWWBL takes the week off this week, so the Buccaneers and Brunels have no games.