Home British baseball British Baseball Beat: London Mets move up

British Baseball Beat: London Mets move up

by Matt Smith

A Bank Holiday can normally be relied upon to offer disappointing weather.

This past weekend was an unusually sunny exception for most, so it was typical that many British baseball teams were not able to take advantage of ‘baseball weather’ in a reduced league schedule.

London leap to top of the NBL

Of the games that were played, the biggest story came on Saturday at Finsbury Park where the London Mets (4-0) swept a double-header against the Herts Falcons (5-3) to climb to the top of the National Baseball League.

The Mets hadn’t played since an Opening Day double-header sweep of the Lakenheath Diamondbacks on 7 April; however there were few signs of rust against the Falcons. London won the games 16-7 and 4-2, the second game including a no-hitter attempt by Pietro Sollecito that was only broken up in the final frame, the seventh inning.

The Mets host NBL newcomers the Essex Redbacks (2-6) this Sunday and they would back themselves to improve their unbeaten start of the season to six games. Their current closest rivals, the Southampton Mustangs (5-1) will travel to Bracknell to face the Blazers (3-3). The Blazers have made a solid start to the season, but if the Mustangs can take two wins it would set up an exciting top-of-the-table double-header between the Mets and Mustangs in Southampton on 19 May.

BBF NBL report

Game-ending triple play

Finsbury Park was certainly the place to be this past Bank Holiday weekend as the NBL Mets’ sweep was accompanied by two wins by the AA-South London Mammoths.

The Mammoths improved their record to 3-2 with the victories over the Sidewinders and staked an early claim for the most dramatic finish to a ballgame of the season in the opener. First baseman Elizer Hernandez and shortstop Pete Weidmann combined to pull off a game-ending triple play to secure a 9-5 win.

BBF AA-South report

Scorpions’ scorching start continues

The Hull Scorpions look like being a real force to be reckoned with this season in the AA-North division. They took two games against the Sheffield Bladerunners on Sunday to improve their record to 6-0.

British Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gavin Marshall continues to inflict damage on opponents and even his own players apparently aren’t safe from his flame-throwing from the mound, according to the BBF AA-North report:

“Marshall had his usual quality start, giving up just one run while striking out 19 to earn his second complete game victory of the year.  Sheffield should be complimented on their resilience for getting five hits and a run off a pitcher who threw so hard he forced his own catcher Miroslav Frank to leave the game after taking a fastball off his knee”.

The Harrogate Tigers (4-1) lead the chasing pack and they will host the Scorpions in a top-of-the-table clash this Sunday.

Trojans trending upwards again

In the AAA-North, the Liverpool Trojans (3-1) dealt the Halton Jaguars (2-2) their first two losses of the season, by scores of 13-6 and 9-4, to retain their lead at the top of the division.

The Trojans are followed in the standings by the Cartmel Valley Lions (3-1) who appear to have been awarded two forfeit victories due to work commitments stopping the Menwith Hill Patriots from fielding a team, something that is always a potential problem for the US Air Force teams in the country.

The road to Farnham

Finally, BSUK’s Liam Carroll recently posted a series of impressive photos on Twitter of the work going on at the new baseball and softball facility at Farnham Park near Slough.

The new site has been funded largely by Sport England and the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, run by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, and subject to good weather helping the grass to bed in, it should be a fantastic host venue for the National Baseball Championships later this year.

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