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06/06/2017, 2:45pm BST
By Carli Stehle

The London Mets breezed into Southampton on Sunday 4 June to challenge the first-place Southampton Mustangs.  First the Mets won a low-scoring thriller and then they won a slugfest, and when the doubleheader was over, the Mets were on top of the NBL standings.

Meanwhile, the Essex Arrows split their doubleheader with the Brighton Jets at Pavillion Field and moved into second place, a game behind the Mets and a half game ahead of the Mustangs.

The Jets are now just a game behind the fourth-place London Capitals, who were idle on 4 June, while the Herts Falcons, who also had no games on the day, remain at the wrong end of the table.


Game 1:  London Mets 3, Southampton 1
Game 2:  London Mets 17, Southampton 12

Marshall Crawford’s debut with the London Mets in Game One was productive, as he struck out 10 Mustangs over seven innings in a tight 3-1 win.

Crawford said, “I’m excited about the wins today.  I think it was good all-around team performance.  We played good defense, we pitched well, and I’m happy to be here!”

Southampton pitcher Rei Martinez, who held London to only three runs in five innings, took the loss. 

The game was scoreless until the top of the third inning, when a single from Grant Delzoppo brought Freddy Mosier in from second to put a London run on the board.  Delzoppo added another RBI in the fifth inning as he doubled to score Carlos Dominguez. 

In the top of the sixth inning, Richard Minford reached on a single and scored on a base hit by Pierre Hoeborn to run the Mets’ lead to 3-0. 

Southampton scored their only run in the home half of the seventh when Ambiorix Hurtado reached base on a dropped third strike and eventually scored on a ground out to first base.

It was a home run derby for the Mets in Game Two as Jamie Dix, Danny Sassoli and Carlos Dominguez lifted the Mets to a 17-12 win and a doubleheader sweep.

The first inning started with a bang as Carlos Dominguez put one over the fence for an early 1-0 London lead. 

Southampton’s Gary Davison tied the game in the home half of the second as he scored from third base on an infield error. 

But the Mets untied the game in top of the third inning when Carlos Dominguez hit his second home run of the game, scoring Freddy Mosier ahead of him, and a single from Richard Minford eventually drove in another run.

Danny Sassoli doubled and scored on a wild throw to kick off a three-run fourth inning for the Mets, and when Martin Tucker scored on a ground out and Carlos Dominguez on an outfield error, the Mets had a 7-1 lead. 

Southampton struck back, however, with four runs in the home half of the fourth.  Maikel Azcuy’s home boosted the Mustangs’ morale, Gary Davison crossed home plate after an error at third base and Mike Trask’s RBI single brought in Giovanni Escalona to cut the Mets’ lead to 7-5.

But Danny Sassoli’s two-run homer restored the Mets’ four-run cushion in the top of the fifth inning, and three more runs followed as Martin Tucker scored on a single from Marshall Crawford and Robert Hero’s two-RBI single brought home Carlos Dominguez and Crawford. 

The Mets scored three more runs in the top of the sixth inning, but their hopes of winning by the mercy rule were dashed in the bottom of the frame when the Mustangs rallied for seven runs.  

The inning featured some wild pitches, two sacrifice flies, a double by Arley Lorenzo and a home run by Gary Davison, and suddenly the game was close again at 15-12.

However, a home run to left field by Jamie Dix and an RBI single by Freddy Mosier gave the Mets a five-run cushion going into the bottom of the seventh, and Danny Sassoli struck out two and caught a pop-up to end the game and earn a save. 

Sassoli said, “It was a good day, and we got some hits on the board.  It was good to be back on the mound and get some Ks.”

After occupying the top spot in the NBL since Opening Day, Southampton are now behind the Mets for the first time, albeit with a game in hand.

Mets Manager Jonathon Cramman said, “We’ve worked really hard over the past month or so to make sure the Essex doubleheader was just a blip.  I said on Opening Day that it’s about winning the last game of the season, so I’m happy [about today].  But all that matters is that we win on September 10th.”

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