The Bracknell Blazers and London Mets strengthened their place at the top of the BBF’s National Baseball League standings in Week 14, while Southampton and Richmond continued to squabble over third spot as the race to the National Baseball League play-offs is heating up.
NBL Special Correspondent Simon Fitzohn reports:
BRACKNELL BLAZERS @ HERTS FALCONS
Bracknell Blazers earned a sweep of their own against Herts, in wildly contrasting games. Game One was a comfortable 12-1 win, with Kirby Brooks on the mound, Rob Rance clubbing a home run. But Game Two was a different matter entirely, the Blazers having to rally in the final inning for a 10-4 win. Aspi Dimitrov was saddled with the loss. A dejected Dimitrov said: “We had a 4-3 lead going into the final inning of the second game. We played really, really well and in the end I let the team down blowing the save.
“Our future is still in our own hands though.” Dimitrov added. “It is very disappointing and it hurts right now, but we have to get over that and keep battling.”
LONDON METS @ ESSEX ARROWS
An understrength London Mets side still had too much in their locker for the Essex Arrows, earning a sweep by 10-0 and 9-6 scorelines. Jason Roberts took the win in Game One, with Reed Wilson on the mound for Game Two. Roberts also caught the eye with the bat, scampering for an inside-the-park home run in the opening game. The Mets’ Alex Pike said: “The first game was pretty straightforward, but we only had nine men and it was a case of trying people out in different positions. We know we are going to make the finals and the key now is for us to try a few things out. “Anything could happen in the finals,” Pike added, “and we have to be prepared for what they throw up.”
CROYDON PIRATES @ MILDENHALL BULLDOGS
Mildenhall finally got back to winning ways by seeing off the Croydon Pirates in both their games, 5-4 and 17-2. Kevin Culver pitched the win in Game One and Jason Coffey followed up in Game Two, with Jose Perez smashing a home run. Mildenhall’s Gabriel Macias said: “It feels good to be back. We came out hard and we came out hungry. It was just what we needed. It had been a long time coming, but we still feel we can make the play-offs.”
SOUTHAMPTON MUSTANGS @RICHMOND FLAMES
The battle for third spot showed no signs of clearing up after Southampton and Richmond split this doubleheader. Southampton took Game One 7-5, thanks to Lee Ralph’s pitching and despite home runs from Grant Delzoppo and Ryan Bird. Bird was at it again in Game Two, clubbing another home run along with Michael Osborn, who also took the 6-1 win on the mound. Delzoppo said: “It was a little bit disappointing. We had plenty of chances in the first game but didn’t take them and gave runs away on errors. But it was really pleasing for us to bounce back the way we did and get the win in the second game.”