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Southern Nationals

Regular Season 2011
Robbie Unsell pitched, played the field and clubbed a grand slam

Flames club two grand slams in NBL sweep

08/25/2011, 10:00am BST
By Simon Fitzjohn

The National Baseball League regular season may be drawing to a close, but there was no let-up in the action on Sunday 21 August as six teams went head to head.

Richmond Flames at Bracknell Blazers

Game One: Flames 14, Blazers 2
Game Two: Flames 20, Blazers 9

The Flames flexed their muscles and built their season record to 19-5 by comfortably disposing of the ailing Blazers.

Richmond crushed four home runs across the two games as they rolled to 14-2 and 20-9 triumphs.

William Schmitt clubbed two (including a grand slam), along with further homers for Robbie Unsell (another grand slam just one inning later) and Guy Lidbetter.

Pitching honours went to Unsell and Matt Spaulding.

Richmond coach Freddy Vibert said: “We looked very strong and despite a few errors due to a lack of concentration we seem ready for the finals. My bench got some game time and proved that the level of ability throughout the squad is pretty efficient.

“We have a few weeks to let injuries heal, and I think the spirit of this team could make a massive difference when we come up against the strong opposition in September.” 

Southern Nationals at Croydon Pirates

Game One: Nationals 2, Pirates 6
Game Two: Nationals 21, Pirates 0

The Nationals and Pirates split their doubleheader, albeit in wildly contrasting match-ups.

Jose Sosa pitched Croydon to a 6-2 win in game one, out-dueling the league's 2010 Best Pitcher, Jason Roberts.

But the Nationals came back big-time in the second encounter, crushing the Pirates 21-0, backing a dominant pitching performance by Jamie Ratcliff in which the 17-year old delivered a six-inning complete game shutout with just three hits allowed.

Croydon coach Dave Ward said: “The one win still gives us a chance of making the play-offs, and it will be interesting to see what happens. We have had a very mixed year, losing when we expect to win and vice versa, so we shall see how it plays out.”

Nationals coach Jason Greenberg said: “We had several chances to score runs in bunches in game one, but we stranded too many runners on base. We just did not hit the ball in the right situations.

“In the second game, though, we finally got the bats off our shoulders, and had a comfortable lead from start to finish, despite the fact that Croydon’s defence fell apart in the final inning. We played great defence in Game Two, and Jamie delivered a pitching masterclass on the bump. This is how we need to play ball in the playoffs.” 

Essex Arrows at London Mets

Game One: Arrows 3, Mets 5
Game Two: Arrows 2, Mets 7

The London Mets boosted their season record to 16-6 with a sweep of the Essex Arrows, tightening their grip on second spot in Pool B in the process.

Essex is left clinging to fourth spot in Pool A with just one weekend of regular season play remaining, but three games left unplayed. 

Tag(s): News  National League  NBL Pool A  South London Pirates  Bracknell Blazers  Flames  Essex Arrows  NBL Pool B  London Mets  Southern