The follwing article by NBL Special Reporter, Simon Fitzjohn, was first published on


Mildenhall Bulldogs are setting the pace after the second week of play in the BBF's National Baseball League, with the only unbeaten record in the division. But both London Mets and Bracknell Blazers moved over .500 after games played on Sunday, April 25. NBL Special Reporter Simon Fitzjohn provides the details:

Richmond Flames @ Mildenhall Bulldogs

The expansion Mildenhall Bulldogs maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a sweep of the Richmond Flames, who ended the 2009 campaign atop the regular standings.

But past history counts for nothing on the diamond, and the Bulldogs eased to 7-3 and 12-2 wins.

Nick Chenausky pitched the win in Game One, with Jason Coffee’s efforts in Game Two backed up by a three-run home run from Jose Perez.

Bulldogs coach Gabriel Macias said: “We are really happy with how we have started, but we still have some things to work on, especially our hitting. The key for us this season is to be taken seriously.”

“I am still not sure we are at the moment, but weekends like this will go a long way to change that,”
said Richmond coach Grant Delzoppo, who has certainly joined the early-season Mildenhall Appreciation Society.

“They have a really good squad,” Delzoppo said, “and if they keep playing like that they will be tough to beat. We only had three hits in each game and you are not going to achieve much with that.

“But we are still missing a few of our key players,” Delzoppo added, “and when we get them back shortly we should turn the corner.”

Essex Arrows @ Bracknell Blazers

The 2009 NBL Champions Bracknell Blazers got back to winning ways, dismissing the challenge of new boys Essex Arrows in a doubleheader sweep.

The 14-4 and 22-6 scorelines were evidence of a big day at the plate for both sides, but with the Blazers easily emerging triumphant in a battle of the sluggers.

Matt Maitland crushed a grand slam in Game One for Bracknell to back winning pitcher Henry Collins, before things went crazy in Game Two.

Brendan Cunliffe launched two dingers in the same inning and Michael Trask and Gordon Shepherd also homered for the Blazers, with Matt Gilbert and Richard Chesterton leaving the yard for the Arrows.

Bracknell’s Rob Rance said: “We came out a bit sloppy at the start but then closed things down. Both sides came out swinging and it was a real sight.

“Last year we started really slowly but the players seem to be taking things on board. We are putting the ball in play and making things happen and moving in the right direction.”

Herts Falcons @ London Mets

The London Mets moved up the standings as they brought Herts Falcons' unbeaten start to the season to an end with a doubleheader sweep.

Two tight games saw the London side emerge triumphant by 5-2 and 9-1 scorelines. Jason Roberts claimed the win in Game One, with Brian Anderson having an easier time on the mound in Game Two.

The Mets’ Carlos Diaz was eager to pay tribute to his side’s pitching staff for moving them to a 3-1 record.

Diaz said: “The pitchers are definitely carrying the team at the moment. We are not hitting the ball well at all but the pitching is enough to get us through. We are progressing quite nicely as a team but we still need to improve to move forward.

“These are two good wins for us,” Diaz added, “and they set us up nicely.”

Croydon Pirates @ Southampton Mustangs

The Southampton Mustangs announced their arrival on the NBL stage, picking up maiden wins with back-to-back victories over the Croydon Pirates.

Game One was a contest for the offensive enthusiast as Southampton prevailed 21-12, Gary Davison clubbing a grand slam to earn Chuck Truelson the win.

Game Two was a much tighter affair, but Lee Ralph producing a dominant pitching display as the Mustangs closed out a 5-3 verdict.

A delighted Ben Davis reckoned Southampton are just getting started.

“We are absolutely thrilled to get our first wins,” Davis said. “The first game went back and forth and it was a real bash game. But the second game was a very good defensive game from both sides and it could have gone either way.

“We have some momentum now,” Davis added, “and it is up to us to build on it and keep moving forward.”

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