Raptors stayed at the top of their division with a 30 to 12 win over the Essex Redbacks this past Sunday. However the win was bittersweet as recently called up Dan Bartram suffered a hamstring injury at the now infamous first base on the old diamond at Grovehill Ballpark.
Starting on the mound was veteran and former Eagles pitcher of the year, Theo Scheepers. Straight from his week long holiday in France, Theo held Essex to just one run despite a Raptors fielding error and some walks. In typical fashion, Raprtors bats started slowly and managed only 3 runs in their bottom half of the first. But Raptors offense erupted in the next two innings scoring both 10 and 11 runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings. Although Raptors bats came alive, they were assisted by Redbacks fielding errors and aggressive base running. Leading the pack in stolen bases were Dan Bartram with 5 and Charlie Mayhew with 4. Hampered by leg injuries from previous games even Jeff Witter added to the total with 2 steals but led all with 6 RBI’s.
On the defensive front Scheepers blanked the opposition in innings 2, 3, and 4, using a combination of crafty pitching and some smart Raptors fielding. The Redbacks managed runs of 3 and 2 in the next innings. But then in the top of the 7th inning with 8 players on the field due to Dan’s injury and some sloppy fielding Redbacks scored 6 before Raptors once again found their grove for a final score of 30 to 12.
Raptors manager, Arnie Longboy, who led in hits with 3, said “I like the momentum we’re building as we reach the mid-point of the season. We still have Herts rivals the Eagles in two weeks but can’t look past the Leceister 2Sox this weekend. It’s also a shame Dan got hurt as he has contributed greatly in the two games he’s played for us. But maybe his younger brother Andy will be able to step up.”