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23 APRIL: METS SWEEP FALCONS TO KEEP PACE WITH SOUTHAMPTON IN THE NBL

04/24/2017, 6:15pm BST
By Carli Stehle

The London Mets put up two easy wins over the Herts Falcons at Finsbury Park on Sunday 23 April in the BBF’s National Baseball League to tuck in just behind the Southampton Mustangs at the top of the NBL standings.

In other games on the weekend, the Mustangs also put up a pair of wins at home to the London Capitals while the Essex Arrows had two hard-fought wins over the Brighton Jets.

With the Mustangs sitting on 4-1 in the early-season going, and the Mets and Essex Arrows both on 3-1, an exciting three-way race is beginning to take shape.

HERTS FALCONS @ LONDON METS

Game 1:  London Mets 15, Herts 0
Game 2:  London Mets 14, Herts 4

The Falcons got Tyler Badenhorst on base in the top of the first inning to start Game One, but failed to score.

An error by the Herts pitcher gave London’s lead-off batter Freddy Mosier the chance to make it to second base to start the home half of the inning, and Mosier then stole third and scored on a wild pitch.  Martin Tucker walked and later scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Grant Delzoppo and Daniele Sassoli doubled, but the score stayed at 2-0 to the Mets as Jamie Dix was thrown out at first to end the inning.

It was three-up and three-down for the Falcons in the top of the second inning.  London’s Tosh Lawson singled in the bottom of the inning and stole second, but was caught in a rundown on his way to third on a grounder by Freddy Mosier and the score stayed at 2-0.  But not for long.

Singles from Juon Ohno and Tyler Badenhorst weren’t enough for the Falcons to get a rally going in the visiting half of the third inning, but in the bottom of the frame the Mets came alive and batted around the line-up.  Carlos Dominguez had two hits in the inning, his second one a two-run double, and with the help of an error, some walks and base hits from Grant Delzoppo and Freddy Mosier, the Mets scored seven runs and ended the inning 9-0 ahead.

Herts put men on base again in the top of the fourth inning, but still couldn’t score, and neither could the Mets in the bottom half.

Darren Meintjes reached base on an error for Herts in the top of the sixth inning but the Mets then turned a stunning double play on Miguel Hector’s grounder to Carlos Dominguez. 

The bottom half of the sixth turned out to be the final half-inning, as the Mets took the score into mercy-rule territory.  The key blow was a bases-loaded single by Grant Delzoppo, and the final score was 15-0.

Herts Manager Lee Manning said: “The pitching was wasn’t too bad, but our fielding was pretty ropey at times and obviously we gave up a lot of extra bases just by throwing the ball away around the infield.” 


Game Two started with a double from John Blose and a walk to Cristobal Hiche in the top of the first inning, but still the Falcons couldn’t bring in a run. 

Then the Mets took control of the game in the bottom half of the first inning, batting through the order and scoring 10 runs. 

Freddy Mosier kicked things off by reaching second on an error and scored on Martin Tucker’s single.  Tucker made it to second on an overthrow and scored on a single from Carlos Dominguez.  A stolen base and an error put Dominguez in scoring position and Grant Delzoppo’s RBI single brought him home.  Daniele Sassoli reached base on yet another error and Sam Sproule was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Lance Louw.  A single by Louw brought in Delzoppo, then Aidan Pearce followed up with the fifth Mets’ single of the inning, scoring Sassoli and Sproule. 

And still the Mets weren’t done, as Freddy Mosier hit a solid double to right field in his second at-bat of the inning, driving in Louw and Pearce.  Finally, Grant Delzoppo’s walk and singles from Tucker and Sassoli loaded the bases for Jamie Dix, who reached base on an error that brought Tucker home for the 10th run of a nightmare inning for the Falcons. 

Herts finally got on the board in the top of the second inning on a RBI single by Brodie Caress and a sacrifice fly by Tyler Badenhorst, but the Falcons were still down 10-2.

London’s bats remained hot in their half of the second inning.  Martin Tucker singled in two runs, and a further two scored on an error, and the writing was on the wall for the Falcons.  The final score was 14-4. 

Mets Manager Jonathon Cramman said: “I think we played really well and we hit the ball great -- offensively, we were fantastic.  There are some things to work on defense-wise, but all in all a good day.”

BRIGHTON JETS @ ESSEX ARROWS

Game 1:  Essex 20, Brighton 13
Game 2:  Essex 12, Brighton 11

An impressive nine-run seventh inning wasn't enough for Brighton to overtake the Essex Arrows in Game One of a hard-fought doubleheader at Town Mead Ballpark.

Essex took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when singles by Fraser Duggan and Luke Foley helped load the bases for Richard Chesterton, whose single brought in Duggan.  A sacrifice fly from Michael Anunobi then brought in Foley and Franklin Gonzalez.

The Arrows added two more runs in the bottom of the second inning.  Ollie Thompson singled to bring Max Asher home and when Carlos Casal Jr scored on a sacrifice fly by Luke Foley, the home team was up by five runs.

Brighton struck back in the top of the third inning when Jamie Ratcliff singled and later scored on a base hit by Connor O’Shaughnessy.

But the Arrows began stretching out their lead in the bottom of the third inning.  Some walks, a passed ball and a single by Michael Anunobi eventually produced four runs and put the Arrows ahead 9-1.

And the onslaught continued in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Franklin Gonzalez doubled, Richard Chesterton tripled, Michael Anunobi, Carlos Casal Jr and Luke Foley singled, the Arrows batted around, and when the inning ended they led 13-1.

Singles from Dexter Stewart and Jamie Ratcliff led to a run scored by Sam Edgoose for Brighton in the top of the sixth inning, but the Arrows got the run back in the bottom half of the frame after Ollie Thompson’s triple brought home Fraser Duggan.

Brighton finally found their bats in the top of the seventh inning, scoring nine runs as they batted around the order.  Key hits were delivered by Perry Wilkinson, Sam Edgoose, Jamie Ratcliff and others, and there were some walks and sacrifice flies thrown in.  

But though the comeback made the score more respectable, the Arrows wound up as fairly comfortable winners. 

“We took great at-bats all day and battled for every at-bat,” said Arrows’ Manager Richard Chesterton. “We had one bad inning, but otherwise we were in control.”


The Arrows had a much tougher struggle in Game Two, which went to extra innings as Brighton fought hard to split the doubleheader.

Essex went ahead in the bottom of the second inning as singles by Richard Chesterton and Michael Anunobi advanced Franklin Gonzalez around the bases. 

The lead didn't last for long, however, as a single by Perry Wilkinson put him on base in the top of the third inning and a sacrifice fly from Jamie Ratcliff brought him home.  Dexter Stewart then reached first on a fielder’s choice and later scored on a wild pitch, putting the visiting Jets up 2-1.

The home team quickly took the lead back in the bottom of the inning.  Fraser Duggan was hit by a pitch, Luke Foley singled and Franklin Gonzalez walked to load the bases for Richard Chesterton, whose single brought in Duggan and Foley as Essex went ahead 4-2.

The Jets attempted to close the gap in the top of the fifth inning.  Dexter Stewart walked, took second on a fly ball out and scored on a single from Harry O’Brien to bring Brighton within a run.

Essex widened their lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the fifth with a double from Ollie Thompson, who later scored on a wild pitch, and an RBI single from Richard Chesterton.  

But the Arrows held on to their lead for just a half inning.  In the top of the sixth inning, a wild pitch, some walks, an error, and a single from Sam Edgoose changed the game around and gave Brighton a 7-6 lead, with the Arrows unable to answer in the bottom of the inning.

They Jets added another run in the top of the seventh as Dan Edgoose scored on an error, but the home side replied and the game went to extra innings.

In the top of the eighth inning, Brighton made a bid to win the game.  A single by Ryan Soan and a double from Dan Edgoose were the key blows as the Jets went up by 11-7.

But the Arrows came back, as they had to, in the bottom of the eighth.  A double by Franklin Gonzalez scored Ollie Thompson and Luke Foley and Rory Chandler’s RBI single tied the game at 11-11.

The Jets stranded two runners in the top of the ninth inning, and Essex then moved in for the kill.  Vilnis Geidans was walked in the bottom of the ninth, a single by Ollie Thompson advanced him into scoring position and a single by Luke Foley brought Gedians home, securing the doubleheader sweep for Essex.

Richard Chesterton was thrilled with the result, saying: “Game Two was a testament to how much we want to win.  For a group of young players to fight in extra innings like that, I'm very proud of them.”

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