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06/30/2017, 3:30pm BST
By Carli Stehle

There were doubleheader sweeps for the London Mets over the Essex Arrows and the London Capitals over the Herts Falcons on Sunday 25 June in the BBF’s National Baseball League.

The result was to stretch the Mets’ lead at the top of the table over the Southampton Mustangs to 2.5 games, and tighten the Capitals’ hold on the final playoff spot.


Game 1:  London Capitals 9, Herts 1
Game 2:  London Capitals 14, Herts 6 

A two-run home run from Leo Pantoja in the third inning helped lift the London Capitals to a 9-1 victory in Game One of a crucial doubleheader at Enfield. 

Starting pitcher Maxime Flayol held the Falcons to only one run on eight hits over six innings on the mound, and Capitals’ Manager Cole Ryan was delighted with the outing.

"Maxime pitched a great game for us,” Ryan said.  “He was really locked in and focused.  He kept the heart of the Herts line-up quiet and was workmanlike throughout.  Defensively, we had a few tough hops, but Max's ability to keep batters off-balance and our strength at the plate ensured we were in control."

An RBI single from Ian Sales brought in Zack Longboy to give the Falcons their only run in the top of the second inning. 

A four-run fourth inning for the Capitals settled the issue and began with a ground-rule double from Timothy Ssali that drove in David Bedard and continued with an RBI single from Rhys Wilson.

The Capitals then capitalised on stolen bases and wild pitches to add two more runs to their final score, winning 9-1.

The Falcons got on the board early in Game Two in an attempt to split the doubleheader, and a single from Brodie Craig and a sacrifice fly from Moises Vasquez gave the visitors a 3-0 lead over the Capitals in the top of the first inning.

The Falcons added to their lead in the top of the second inning when Miguel Hector walked, Andrew Skow doubled and both came home thanks to sacrifice flies from Louis Hare and John Blose. 

The Capitals started fighting back when Adam Gilman and Sam Karson knocked in the first runs for London in the bottom of the second inning.

That momentum continued as Ben Marcal and Leo Pantoja scored in the bottom of the third inning to cut the Capitals’ deficit to one. Timothy Ssali then added another run as he scored from second on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Maxime Flayol to tie the score.

The Capitals pulled away with a five-run fifth inning in which Ben Marcal hit his second single of the game, Alex Montes De Oca scored on a passed ball and Adam Gilman and Rhys Wilson scored on errors.  That put the Capitals 10-5 ahead. 

The Londoners then added four more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and a lone run for the Falcons in the top of the seventh was nowhere near enough.

Cole Ryan said, "The team showed a lot of discipline at the plate early and played for the team.  Both Adam Gilman and Sam Karson hit hard ground balls with runners on third base to get us on the board and give the team the momentum to take the lead and never look back.”


Game 1:  London Mets 15, Essex 1
Game 2:  London Mets 12, Essex 2

The London Mets were looking to even the score after having been being swept by the Essex Arrows at their last meeting in May. 

The Mets got to work early in Game One against Essex starter Max Asher as Daniele Sassoli and Martin Tucker scored in the first inning before a pitching change was made by Essex.  Seth Morgan added another run for London in the inning after Maxwell Tyler was hit by a pitch with the basis loaded.

In the bottom half of the second inning, a double from Sam Sproule moved Daniele Sassoli to third base and a pair of sacrifice flies eventually gave the home team a five-run lead. 

Doubles from Graydon Koyanagi and Martin Tucker in the bottom of the third added two more runs to the score. 

Essex attempted to get some run support for Jamie Gregory as Ollie Thompson got on board in the top of the fifth inning, but Michael Anunobi grounded into a double play.

Ollie Thompson then came in to pitch for the Arrows, hoping to limit the damage, but the Mets continued their relentless attack, scoring seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to give the home team a 14-0 lead.

Jaxon Tomchesson scored the only run for Essex in the top of the sixth inning,but it wasn’t enough to rally the visitors.  London scored one more run as Martin Tucker came home on a sacrifice fly and the Mets took Game One on the mercy rule.

The Mets scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning in Game Two as a double from Carlos Dominguez drove in Daniele Sassoli and a two-run RBI single from Robert Hero brought in Dominguez and Martin Tucker.

Singles from Jamie Gregory and Jaxon Tomchesson gave Essex an opportunity to score in the top of the second inning and Gregory eventually scored on an error to put the Arrows on the board, but still down 3-1. 

Sam Sproule laid down a successful bunt for the Mets in the bottom of the second inning to load the bases for Daniele Sassoli, whose triple brought everyone home to give the Mets a 6-1 lead.  Martin Tucker’s RBI single then brought in Sassoli, and a single from Robert Hero sent Tucker home. 

Essex tried to fight back, and after Carlos Casal Jr stole second base in the top of the third inning, a double from Michael Anunobi brought him in to cut the Essex deficit to six runs. 

But a double from Martin Tucker put two more runs on the board for London in the bottom of the third, and the Mets ended the inning with a 10-run lead.

Essex loaded the bases in the top of the fourth inning, but were unable to score any further runs.

The Mets and the Arrows will meet for the last time this season on Sunday 2 July at Grovehill Ballpark. 

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