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21 MAY:  DOUBLEHEADER SWEEPS BY THE METS AND ARROWS CLOSE THE GAP IN THE NBL

05/23/2017, 11:45am BST
By Carli Stehle

Four National Baseball League teams – the London Mets, London Capitals, Essex Arrows and Herts Falcons – gathered at the Falcons’ home ground in Hemel Hempstead on Sunday 21 May to play against each other, and it was the Mets and Arrows who prospered with doubleheader sweeps.

The Mets posted 11-run wins against both the Falcons and the Capitals, while Essex defeated the same two teams by slightly smaller margins.

These results kept the Mets and the Arrows in a second-place tie in the NBL standings with 7-3 records, but now only half a game behind the first place Southampton Mustangs (7-2), who will be feeling both teams breathing down their necks.

The Capitals are now 3.5 games back with a record of 5-7 while the Falcons remain mired in last place.  

Game scores on the day were:

London Mets 14, Herts Falcons 3
Essex Arrows 10, London Capitals 4
Essex Arrows 19, Herts Falcons 9
London Mets 11, London Capitals 0

No NBL games are scheduled on 28 May during the Bank Holiday weekend, but on Sunday 4 June the Mets and Mustangs will clash in a key doubleheader in Southampton while Essex will be hoping to take advantage when they travel to play the fifth place Brighton Jets.

LONDON METS @ HERTS FALCONS

London Mets 14, Herts 3

A grand slam home run by Martin Tucker and further home runs from Freddy Mosier, Carlos Dominguez and Aidan Pearce paced the London Mets to a 14-3 win over the Herts Falcons. 

Mets’ starting pitcher Lance Louw threw 99 pitches over six innings while holding the home team to three runs. 

Herts actually took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on a home run from catcher Tyler Badenhorst with Andrew Fulford on base.

But two two-run home runs in the top of the third inning gave the Mets a lead they were never to lose, even though it took them a while to pull away.  An opposite-field home run from Freddy Mosier with Aiden Pearce on base tied the score, and then Martin Tucker walked and scored as Carlos Dominguez belted the ball over the left field fence. 

An RBI single from Moises Vasquez brought the Falcons to within a run in the bottom half of the third inning, but an RBI single from Martin Tucker restored London’s two-run cushion in the top of the fourth. 

It was a seven-run fifth inning for the Mets that decided the game.  Carlos Dominguez walked to kick things off and Jamie Dix reached on a single.  Sam Sproule’s fielder’s choice scored Dominguez, a single from Richard Minford scored Dix and Sproule crossed home plate on a sacrifice from Greg Kettle.  But then the Mets loaded the bases again, Martin Tucker belted his grand slam, and the Mets were almost out of sight.

Herts loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning but couldn’t bring anyone home, and a two-run home run from Aiden Pearce in the top of the sixth took the margin into mercy rule territory at 14-3 and that was the final score.

Mets’ Manager Jonathon Cramman said: “We swung the bats really well.  We talked a lot after our last game about trying to change our approach, stay in the field and hit more line drives, and it meant that on a nice windy, sunny day, we ended up elevating the ball and hitting some out.”

LONDON CAPITALS @ LONDON METS

London Mets 11, London Capitals 0

Later in the day, the Mets and the London Capitals faced off in a derby game for the first time this season, and four Capitals were ejected as the fierce rivalry between the two teams flared. 

But Maxwell Tyler pitched a shutout for the Mets and their bats stayed hot to lift them to an 11-0 win.

A four-run first inning for the Mets got things started, with an RBI double by Jamie Dix a key blow.

The Capitals had an opportunity to come back when Jeremy Lengyel and Adam Gilman reached base with singles in the top of the second inning, but both were left stranded and the Mets continued their scoring streak in the bottom half of the frame.  A single by Jamie Dix brought in Freddy Mosier and Carlos Domingez, and this was followed by singles from Richard Minford and Lance Louw, a balk, a single by Aiden Pearce and then another balk to give the Mets a 9-0 lead.

The Mets added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Ben Marcal singled in the top of the fifth inning for the Capitals’ seventh hit, hoping to ignite a rally, but the game was over after Gordon Shepard hit into a double play. 

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