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Mildenhall Bulldogs

Regular Season 2011

NBL runs full schedule on Sunday 15 May

05/17/2011, 2:00pm BST
By Simon Fitzjohn

All ten National League teams took to the field on Sunday, May 15, producing some blow-out victories and a couple of stirring comebacks.

Croydon Pirates at Southampton Mustangs

Southampton continued its impressive start to the campaign with a sweep of the Pirates by scores of 13-3 and 13-2, with the second win coming in five innings.

Gary Davison and Lee Ralph pitched the wins, while Tim Ssali and Jose Sosa were saddled with the losses, although Sosa did club a home run in Game 2.

Little wonder that Pirates' coach Dave Ward joined the increasing band of Mustangs admirers.

“They were two heavy defeats and we can have no real complaints," Ward said. “We started off ok but then we melted away and Southampton took over, though we didn't play to our potential.

“We have to regroup and make sure this is part of a learning curve," Ward added.

Herts Falcons at Lakenheath Diamondbacks

There was another sweep at the home of the Diamondbacks, as Lakenheath recorded 11-1 and 11-5 wins over Herts.

Karl Petnecky and Kevin Carr took mound honours while Darren Ward and Nick Goetz were forced to take the losses.

Delighted Lakenheath Coach Adrian Ryals said: “We had a lot of hits and it was good to see. We are getting there as a team and our hitting and defence is coming together. We are really making progress.”

A dejected Aspi Dimitrov said: “The Diamondbacks were very deserving winners. We started both games well and were in contention, but some big innings really cost us. They took advantage of our mistakes and we can have no complaints.”

LONDON METS AT SOUTHERN NATIONALS

There was more close-run fare as the Mets edged a very tight doubleheader at the Nationals.

London took Game 1 by a score of 5-3 before the Nationals blew a 6-2 lead in Game 2 to end up on the wrong side of a 10-9 verdict.

Jamie Ratcliff and Jason Roberts were the losing pitchers, but Southern coach Jason Greenberg refused to be downhearted.

“They were two very close games," Greenberg said. “To have the tying run cut down at home plate in the final inning is very frustrating. We know games with London are always tight and today was no different."

“We do not face them again this season," Greenberg added, "but we look forward to meeting them in the playoffs.” 

BRACKNELL BLAZERS AT MILDENHALL BULLDOGS

The Blazers were forced to settle for a split as the Bulldogs announced themselves as a team to watch.

Mildenhall took Game 1 by a score of 11-7, with Jason Coffey pitching the win. But Bracknell bounced back with a 10-3 win in Game 2, John Blose taking the loss for Mildenhall.

Bulldogs' coach Mike McClure said: “I’m not happy that we had to split, but the season is just getting started. We have no problems competing and we have plenty to work on.

“It's a long season," McClure added, "and I am pretty confident that if we make the playoffs we will be more than a match for Bracknell when we meet them again.” 

Essex Arrows at Richmond Flames

A stunning comeback from the hosts triggered a sweep in Richmond as the Flames engineered 14-12 and 7-4 wins.

Essex stormed to a 12-4 lead in Game 1, only to be pegged back in sensational fashion, with Tony Dreivus taking the loss.

Game 2 was less exciting, with Matt Gilbert handed the defeat for Essex.

Disconsolate Arrows Coach Phil Chesterton said: “It was very, very disappointing. We had to change pitchers when we had a healthy lead and it all went wrong in Game 1. We were absolutely cruising, but we made too many errors and it slipped away.

“It is very hard to talk about it," Chesterton added, "and we need to bounce back.”

Photo Credit: Romita Gray (for Project COBB Photography

Tag(s): News  National League  NBL Pool A  South London Pirates  Bracknell Blazers  Flames  Essex Arrows  Southampton Mustangs  NBL Pool B  London Mets  Bulldogs  Herts Falcons  Diamondbacks  Southern