There is no joy in Mudville…

Drew Mayhew’s hit was one of just a few on a tough day for the Raptors’ offence

British Single-A League
Kent Mariners 16 Herts Raptors 3
Adrian Smithers reporting form Grovehill Ballpark

The Kent Mariners held the previously hot Raptor bats to just two hits during a six inning (time restricted) game, inflicting a third straight loss upon the Herts ‘A’ team in their long awaited home opener.

The game, originally scheduled for a 3pm start, was delayed by almost two hours as the AAA doubleheader between Herts Eagles & Hove Tuesday overran. By the time they had finished and vacated the old diamond it was almost 5pm. The Raptors squad had, for the last four hours, either been sitting around in the hot sunshine watching the AAA game or taking part in fielding practice or pitching try outs to keep themselves entertained.

With the sun now high in the late afternoon sky and directly behind home plate, making any flyball to the outfield hard to see for both teams, the game finally started with Kent scoring three runs in the top of the 1st inning. Raptors pulled one back in the bottom of the inning, as lead off bat and starting pitcher Michael Cresswell was hit by a pitch before stealing 2nd and 3rd. Raptors shortstop Daniel Bennett then grounded into a 6-3 play scoring Cresswell and collecting the only Herts RBI of the day. Kent plated six runs in the top of the second due in part to some uncharacteristic mistakes by the Raptors infield and outfield. The Herts team replying with a single run scored by catcher (and walking rulebook) Tomasz Kosak. Neither side scored in the third inning despite Raptors first hit of the game from Bennett and due in part also to an excellent catch on the mound by Cresswell, gloving a ball that had been lasered straight back at him.

Charlie Mayhew took over the pitching duties from Cresswell in the fourth inning with the score 9-2. Kent added four more runs in another error strewn inning by the Raptors until they got out of it on an unassisted double play by shortstop Bennett, catching a driven ball before tagging out the runner. Who having gone on contact – with only one out – was trying in vain to regain second base. Drew Mayhew then got Herts second hit of the game putting himself in position to come around the bags to score Raptors third run making the score 13-3 after four innings.

Kent extended their lead by 3 more runs in the fifth and sixth. With the score 16-3, and needing 13 runs to tie the game, the weary Raptors faded away with only Drew Mayhew reaching base on an error. It had been an exceptionally long day and it showed.

Raptors manager Geoff Thomas said; “Unfortunately we didn’t do ourselves justice today and were soundly beaten by a better team. I’m looking forward to us bouncing back next game and showing everyone what we can do.”

It will be a tough game for the Raptors who face visitors Haverhill Blackjacks on Sunday 25th May at Grovehill Ballpark. First pitch is at 1pm.