The Pony Qualifiers were held at Dawes Hill near High Wycombe, home of the London Youth Baseball League, and the Cobham Cougars took on the Horsham Hornets in the first game of the day.
The Cougars broke open a tight game in the fourth inning and won 9-3 behind the pitching of Camrin Opp and Yusuke Omano to qualify for the NYBCs as the #2 Southern seed.
Essex Redbacks then emerged victorious from a tight eliminator with Herts Pony All-Stars to earn the right to take on the #1 seed London Mets.
But the game was never close as the Mets scored 13 runs in the second inning en route to a one-sided 20-1 win to qualify for the NYBCs as the Southern #1 seed. Zach Strohman, Jack Peters and Tadaki Sakurai pitched for the Mets and held Essex to just that single run.
Meanwhile, six Bronco teams were battling it out at Finsbury Park in North London for the three places made available to Southern teams due to the withdrawal of one Northern team.
Herts Bronco All-Stars beat Essex Arrows 12-1 and the Forest Glade Redbacks, helped by Chris Keifer’s grand slam home run, beat Bracknell 16-2 in the first elimination games of the day. The winners thus secured games against the top two seeds.
Herts took on #2 seed London Mets and sprang something of a surprise, winning the game 10-4 to qualify as the South’s #2 seed.
London Youth Baseball League then beat Forest Glade 11-0 to earn the #1 seeding at the NYBCs. Andrew Lee and Jonathan Fretheim both hit home runs.
Both losers had a second chance of qualification as the #3 seed. Forest Glade pitcher Chris Keifer was dominant, striking out 14 as he threw a perfect game and the Redbacks beat London 9-0.
For the first time, all the qualifying teams from the South, even though there are five in total, come from different clubs. They will join Pony and Bronco Cartmel Valley teams and the Halton Polecats Pony team at the National Championships, to be held at Richmond Baseball and Softball Club's home venue, Kew and Ham Sports Association, on the weekend of September 17-18.
Semi-finals will begin at 11.00 am on Saturday September 17 and the Championship games will take place from 1.00 pm on Sunday, September 18 after third place games are played starting at 10.30 am.
BRONCO – Finsbury Park, London
Essex Atoms (#6) 1 @ Herts 12 (#3) – G1
Bracknell Bronco (#5) 2 @ Forest Glade Redbacks (#4) 16 – G2
Herts Bronco All Stars (WG1) 10 London Mets (#2) 4 – G3, Herts qualifies for NYBC as seed #2
Forest Glade Redbacks (WG2) 0 LYBL (#1) 11 - G4, LYBL qualifies for NYBC as seed #1
London Mets (LG3) 0 Forest Glade Redbacks (LG4) 9, Forest Glade qualifies for NYBC as seed #3
Essex Atoms 4 Bracknell Bronco 12 – consolation game
PONY – Dawes Hill, High Wycombe
Cobham Cougars (#3) 9 Horsham Hornets (#2) 3 – G1, Cobham qualifies for NYBC as seed #2
Herts Pony All Stars (#5) lost to Essex Redbacks (#4), score not known – G2
Essex Redbacks (WG2) 1 @ London Mets (#1) 20, London qualifies for NYBC as seed #1