Home British baseball British Baseball Beat: Lions tame Trojans

British Baseball Beat: Lions tame Trojans

by Matt Smith

The Cartmel Valley Lions did for the Liverpool Trojans’ unbeaten start to the season for the second straight year last Sunday, whilst the Nottingham Rebels are one of several teams across the leagues to still have a precious ‘0’ in the loss column.

The Liverpool Trojans’ Opening Day 37-3 victory over the Menwith Hill Patriots called to mind the sort of dominance that the team showed during their 2011 campaign when they went through the regular season unbeaten.

Thoughts of a repeat in 2013 were quickly dashed last Sunday and it was a familiar foe that inflicted the damage.

Last season the Cartmel Valley Lions faced a Trojans team at the end of June that were 12-0 and hadn’t lost a regular season game in almost two years. They snapped the streak with a 7-1 win in which the GB Under-23 pitcher Ben Pearson struck out nine and hit a three-run homer.

The Lions clearly haven’t lost their appetite for taking bites out of the reigning AAA champions and Pearson was at the forefront again, striking out 10 Trojans on Sunday as Cartmel took an impressive 20-5 win with 12 of the Lions’ runs coming in a lively seventh inning.

As they did back in 2012, the Trojans regrouped after taking their first loss of the season and earned a split with a 12-6 win in the second game of the double-header, Martin Godsall picking up the pitching ‘W’ in the process. However, the loss did have an impact on the standings as the Halton Jaguars took both games against the Patriots in their season opener and therefore jump ahead of the 2-1 Liverpool with a 2-0 record.

Those results have set up a top-of-the-table clash between the teams in Halton this Sunday.

Rebels remain unbeaten

Whilst the Trojans lost their perfect record, the Nottingham Rebels were able to keep theirs intact thanks to a hard-fought 10-4 win over the Leicester Blue Sox in the AAA-Midlands. The Rebels aren’t scheduled to play again until 19 May, so their unblemished 5-0 record will stand for several weeks longer at least, although they could find themselves in a tie for first place by that point.

The MK Bucks took victories over the Birmingham Maple Leafs on Sunday – both won by two runs but by quite different 2-0 and 16-14 scorelines – and will go into their double-header with Leicester on 12 May looking to keep their unbeaten start to the season going.

Meanwhile in the AAA-South, the London Mets II have marched to the top of the division with two wins at home against 2013 newcomers Leones De Feltham. The Mets II will face club-mates the Metros in a Bank Holiday Monday double-header at Finsbury Park this coming weekend.

Elsewhere in the division, the Oxford Kings’ Miguel Peralta had his no-hit inning streak ended in the fourth inning of their game against the Bristol Badgers. Hans Freidrechsen won the battle to finally get a hit off the Kings’ ace, but Peralta won the war by shutting out the Badgers to help his team to a 3-0 victory, backing up a 7-4 win in the earlier game of the double-header. In Cambridge, the Royals’ ace Brett Curran struck out 10 Richmond Knights batters as his team took two victories to improve to 4-2, whilst the London Metros gained two impressive wins over the Herts Ravens.

Other winning starts

Across the AA and A levels, there are seven teams who are yet to suffer a defeat early in the season.

The Milton Keynes Coyotes, Herts Raptors and Tonbridge are all 2-0 so far in the A-South. Tonbridge has the opportunity to improve to 3-0 this Sunday with a home game against the Haverhill Blackjacks.

Sidewinders and Daws Hill Spitfires are also off to 2-0 starts in the AA-South, whilst the Guildford Mavericks top the division on a 3-0 record and the AA-North is led by the Hull Scorpions on 4-0.

Special credit should go to the Mavericks who had to quickly relocate to ACS Cobham International School to play their recent game against the London Mammoths due to problems at their existing base at Broadwater School in Godalming. The Mavericks are determined to fulfil their fixtures and find a suitable solution to build a home that will support their efforts to offer adults and children the chance to play baseball in the area.

NBL: Falcons v Mets this Sunday

In the National Baseball League, the Southampton Mustangs drew level with the Herts Falcons at the top of the standings with two convincing victories over the Essex Redbacks, prevailing by scores of 11-1 and 12-1.

The Mustangs’ wins came on a weekend when the reigning champions, the Harlow Nationals, surprisingly dropped a game against the South London Pirates. The Pirates are rebuilding after a few fallow years and will take great heart from splitting the double-header in Harlow, particularly after suffering a heavy 14-1 loss in the opener with Matt Gilbert dominating on the mound for the home team. The results leave the Nationals on a somewhat underwhelming 2-4 record to start their bid for a ‘three-peat’, but there is still a long way to go and plenty of time for Harlow to hit their stride.

There is only one NBL double-header scheduled this weekend but it should be a cracker. the Herts Falcons host the London Mets hoping to regain their gap over the Mustangs in the standings. The Mets similarly will be looking to get a win or two on the board as a rain-out and an off-week means the 2007 and 2008 champs haven’t taken to the field since their two victories over the Lakenheath Diamondbacks on 7 April.

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