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British Baseball Beat: Hawks, Robots, and Glasgow Galaxy

by Matt Smith

The British Baseball season moved into its second week this past weekend and there was plenty of drama along the way.

We’ll be able to digest the news further over the coming Easter weekend, with no games being played. The following weekend will see Triple-A and Single-A getting their league campaigns underway, with the rest of the teams continuing where they left off.

National Baseball League: Results to be determined

Last Sunday saw the Southampton Mustangs playing their first home games as reigning NBL champions.

Both games of their double-header against the Herts Falcons ended early, but for very different reasons.

The Falcons travelled south with two opening day wins in their pockets and a chance to make a statement by getting the better of the champion Mustangs on their own patch.

It looked like they might do just that in the first game, but the victor is still to be decided at time of writing. Herts lodged a protest with the scores tied 7-7 in the sixth inning, reportedly due to believing that the Mustangs had fielded an ineligible player. The BBF are considering the case and will issue a ruling in due course.

There are no such doubts over the winner of the second game, though. The Mustangs took out their frustrations by launching a ball-hitting blitz on Herts. They jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the first inning and continued to pile on the runs before the game was called on the mercy rule with Southampton winning 18-2 in five innings.

The other NBL action took place at Townmead Field where the London Capitals and Essex Arrows split a double-header with two lop-sided results. The Arrows fired against the Capitals in the first game to take a 20-3 victory, before the Caps shot back with a 16-5 win in the second-half of the double-header.

The games were most memorable for the Arrows’ Ollie Thompson launching a grand slam on his NBL debut to bring Game One to a Mercy rule conclusion.

Full details of last Sunday’s NBL games can be found in Carli Stehle’s BBF report.

The results currently leave the Falcons and Mustangs tied at the top of the standings on 2-1 records, with the BBF’s ruling on Game One set to determine which one stands alone at the summit, for the time being at least.

Double-A: Hawks Hit the Heights

In the Double-A league, the East London Latin Boys followed up their opening day win with a 15-12 victory over Southampton Mustangs II. The game was tied 10-10 after four innings and remained close throughout the rest of the contest, but the Latin Boys were able to edge it and to set the early pace in the South Pool-A.

At Farnham Park, the big match brought together the reigning Double-A and Single-A champions. Herts Hawks showed they are up for the challenge of moving up the leagues by beating the Daws Hill Spitfires 20-13.

The Hawks put up six runs in the second inning and, perhaps crucially, responded to the Spitfires cutting into that lead with two runs in the bottom of the third by hitting back with another five runs in the top of the fourth.

Daws Hill scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to make it 15-9, but the Hawks ensured there would be no ninth-inning heroics by adding six more runs to their lead in the top of the ninth to seal an impressive win.

There were also victories for the Sidewinders, London Marauders, Brighton Redhawks and Tonbridge Wildcats.

North British Baseball League: Beware the Robots of Doom

The Robots of Doom exterminated Durham Spartans in a double-header, although the scores of 9-7 and 15-10 showed that the Spartans gave their tech-filled tormentors a tough fight.

Liverpool Trojans swept Halton in their first two games of the season, whilst the Twojans fell to 1-3 following two defeats at the hands of Harrogate Tigers.

As for the clash between Sheffield Bladerunners and Hull Scorpions, Sheffield made some noise in the early running of Game One but were unable to stamp on the Scorpions, who prevailed in both encounters by scores of 8-4 and 17-8.

Scottish League: Glasgow Galaxy lead the way

In the Scottish baseball league, Glasgow Galaxy were fresh off a one-run win against the Edinburgh Diamond Devils on Opening Day when they welcomed Edinburgh Giants to Tollcross Field on Sunday.

Glasgow’s pitcher Luke Powell brought the Giants down to size with 10 strike-outs as the Galaxy completed a seven-inning 10-0 win to give them an early lead in the league table.

In the other game played that day, Edinburgh Cannons beat the Granite City Oilers 13-2 at Bobby Thomson Field.

Young Mets on tour

And finally, good luck to the London Mets teams competing in Prague this weekend.

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