The following article first appeared on www.britishbaseball.org
Legendary Herts Shortstop, Geoff Hare (second from left),
gets honour of being the plate umpire at the Final
Bracknell Blazers played and won three back-to-back games on Sunday 30 August to be crowned National Baseball Champions for 2009.
The team had lost the opening game of the double elimination format event on Saturday 29 August by a score of 10-4 against reigning champs London Mets. This left the Berkshire team with an uphill battle on Sunday.
First they faced and defeated Herts Falcons 12-1 in a five-inning “mercy rule” game. Next was a rematch with London and this time the Blazers won 11-7 over seven-innings. This set up a nine-inning grand final against National Baseball League winners Richmond Flames.
A close game against the Flames (3-3 after six innings) was blown wide open by a Josh Chetwynd double with the bases loaded that scored three for Bracknell. Richmond couldn't fight back, trailing 9-4 going into the ninth inning, only to see Bracknell knock in another seven runs to seal victory.
Rob Rance, Bracknell Manager, and Paul Vernon, Assistant Manager, were jubilant, as was Mark Salter, Bracknell President.
Images from the 2009 National Baseball Championship
|Herts Falcons at Richmond Flames|
|Score By Innings||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Richmond Flames 11, Herts Falcons 3|
|Richmond Flames||Herts Falcons|
|Marty Visser cf||5||3||3||0||Riley Fisher 3b-p||4||1||1||1|
|Mike Osborne 2b||4||3||4||3||Jason Greenberg c||3||0||1||1|
|Cody Cain ss||2||2||2||1||Lin Yuchih 2b||3||0||3||1|
|Ryan Bird lf||5||1||2||1||Darrin Ward p||3||0||0||0|
|Grant Delzoppo c||5||1||3||3||(b6) Aspi Dimitrov lf||1||0||0||0|
|Guy Lidbetter 1b||5||0||2||1||Andy Cornish rf||4||0||1||0|
|Hayden Davidson 2b||4||0||3||2||Kimiyoshi Saionji cf||3||0||0||0|
|Matt Spaulding rf||4||0||0||0||Luis Goncalves ss||3||0||0||0|
|Yoshi Saito 3b||4||1||1||0||Marty Cullen 1b||3||1||1||0|
|Nick Goetz lf-3b||1||1||0||0|
|TEAM TOTALS||38||11||20||11||TEAM TOTALS||28||3||7||3|
|E: Mike Osborne, Cody Cain, Nick Goetz. DP: Richmond Flames 2. LOB: Herts Falcons 8,
Richmond Flames 13. 2B: Marty Visser, Riley Fisher. 3B: Mike Osborne. SB: Marty
Visser(2), Jason Greenberg, Marty Cullen.
|Darrin Ward L||5.00||19||11||10||0||2|
|HBP: by (Jason Greenberg). , by Darrin Ward (Cody Cain). . , by Darrin Ward (Cody
Cain). . . . WP: Riley Fisher. T: 2:02. A: 170.
|Bracknell Blazers at Herts Falcons|
|Score By Innings||1||2||3||4||5||R||H||E|
|Bracknell Blazers 12, Herts Falcons 1|
|Bracknell Blazers||Herts Falcons|
|Player 1 p||2||3||1||0||Riley Fisher c||3||1||1||0|
|Player 2 c||3||2||2||2||Andy Cornish dh||1||0||0||0|
|Player 3 1b||3||0||1||3||(t3) Kimiyoshi Saionji lf||1||0||0||0|
|Player 4 2b||3||1||2||2||Lin Yuchih 1b||2||0||1||1|
|Player 5 3b||2||0||1||1||Darrin Ward 3b||2||0||0||0|
|Player 6 ss||3||2||0||0||Dan Kerry cf-p||1||0||0||0|
|Player 7 lf||2||1||2||2||Luis Goncalves ss||2||0||0||0|
|Player 8 cf||2||0||1||1||Carlos Casal 2b||2||0||0||0|
|Player 9 rf||2||3||2||0||Aspi Dimitrov rf||1||0||0||0|
|(b5) Marty Cullen rf||1||0||0||0|
|Jamie Munn lf-cf||1||0||0||0|
|Nick Goetz p||0||0||0||0|
|TEAM TOTALS||22||12||12||11||TEAM TOTALS||17||1||2||1|
|E: Player 5(2), Dan Kerry. LOB: Herts Falcons 3, Bracknell Blazers 6. 2B: Player 5,
Player 2, Player 1, Player 7, Riley Fisher. HR: Player 7, Player 4. SB: Player 3,
Player 2, Dan Kerry. SB: Player 8. SF: Player 4, Player 3.
|Player 1 W||5.00||2||1||0||1||4|
|Nick Goetz L||2.67||9||7||6||3||0|
|HBP: by Nick Goetz (Player 6), by Player 1 (Dan Kerry). . , by Dan Kerry (Player 5).
. WP: Dan Kerry. PB: Riley Fisher. T: 1:49. A: 170.
AA & A Divisions
League newcomers Mildenhall Bulldogs downed Midlands rivals Alconbury Braves 8-1 to seize the AA Division title at the first attempt.
Leicester Blue Sox, also from the Midlands, pushed aside Southern opposition defeating Essex Archers 12-8 for the A Division title.
There will be more baseball on 5/6 September when the AAA Division Championships take place in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Hosts Harrogate Tigers will play Liverpool Trojans, Essex Arrows and Southampton Mustangs for the AAA Division title.
National Baseball League
Game 1 – Bracknell Blazers 4, London Mets 10
Game 2 – Herts Falcons 3, Richmond Flames 11
Game 3 – London Mets 1, Richmond Flames 4 (Richmond through to Grand Final)
Game 4 – Bracknell Blazers 12, Herts Falcons 1 (Herts eliminated)
Game 5 – London Mets 7, Bracknell Blazers 11 (London eliminated)
Grand Final – Bracknell Blazers 16, Richmond Flames 4
Semi-Final 1 – Kent Mariners 3, Alconbury Braves 13
Semi-Final 2 – Mildenhall Bulldogs 10, Manchester A's 6
3rd/4th Place – Kent Mariners 0, Manchester A's 7
Final – Alconbury Braves 1, Mildenhall Bulldogs 8
Semi-Final 1 – Leicester Blue Sox 9, Bracknell Blazers II 5
Semi-Final 2 – Humber Pilots 5, Essex Archers 6
3rd/4th Place – Bracknell Blazers 17, Humber Pilots 11
Final – Leicester Blue Sox 12, Essex Archers 8