There were only three British Baseball Federation league contests on Sunday as teams were either taking a break or participating in other events, such as the London International Tournament that took place on Saturday and Sunday in Croydon.
A full report on the London International Tournament is available on the BBF website. The reigning National Baseball League champions Bracknell Blazers won the main event, defeating the Essex Arrows 21-2 in the final, while PC Wolves from France took the Frank Brady trophy on run difference. The annual Home Run Derby on Saturday was won by the Mildenhall Bulldogs’ Mike McClure. Rumours of a Home Run hit-off between McClure and ‘Big Papi’ David Ortiz are unconfirmed.
And completely made up.
Two of the teams, Latino Stars and Vatos, didn’t show up and unfortunately it looks like that caused a few organizational problems. Ideas are already being floated to add a similar Midlands-based event to the baseball calendar next year.
BBF Leagues: Wins for Oxford, Humber and Tonbridge
The three contests from BBF League play resulted in the Oxford Kings extending their lead at the top of the AAA-South, the Humber Pilots closing in on Bolton in the AA-North and Tonbridge getting their first home win of the season in A-South.
In the AAA-South, the Bristol Badgers started the opening game of their double-header against the Oxford Kings in great style by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Oxford aren’t top of the league for nothing though and they hit back with six runs in the top of the fourth to move ahead 6-3. Bristol levelled the game with three runs in the bottom of the frame, but the Kings weren’t to be denied, taking a 9-6 lead in the top of the fifth and running out victors 11-9. With one win under their belts, the Kings drove home their advantage in the second game by putting up an 8 spot in the opening inning on their way to a 14-6 win. The victories put the Kings on a 15-1 record, three games ahead of Bracknell Inferno (12-4) at the top of the league. The Badgers dropped to 4-8.
In the AA-North, Humber Pilots (9-4) followed up their double-header sweep over Bolton Robots of Doom (11-5) on 4 July by taking two wins against Sheffield Bladerunners (9-7). Those results moved the Pilots into second place, within half a game of Bolton at the top of the league. In A-South, Chelmsford Clippers (5-6) travelled to Kent to take on the Tonbridge Bobcats (4-5) and it was the home team that came out on top, taking a 16-6 ‘mercy’ win in seven innings. The Clippers gracefully described it as a “deserved mercy-rule win”, adding that “it was the Clippers’ misfortune that their only game against the Bobcats would be probably the best that pitcher Ewan Martin would toss for them, giving up the six runs with a personal-best eleven strikeouts to only seven walks”.
This Sunday’s fixture list
In the NBL this Sunday, the league-leading London Mets travel to Roundshaw Field for a double-header against the Croydon Pirates, while the second-placed Bracknell Blazers will look to carry on their London Tournament-winning form in their double-header at home to the Mildenhall Bulldogs. In the other games, Herts Falcons host the Richmond Flames and Southampton Mustangs host the Essex Arrows.
There’s a top of the table clash in AAA-North as the Liverpool Trojans defend their one-game lead over Manchester A’s with a double-header at the latter’s Allen Field. The third-placed Harrogate Tigers host Glasgow. In the South, Oxford Kings will be confident of moving to 17-1 as they have two games scheduled away to the 0-14 Kent Mariners. The big battle will take place at Melbourne Field in Chelmsford as the third-placed Herts Eagles look to pull level with Bracknell Inferno in second-place by winning both games of a double-header against Essex Redbacks. The Eagles will have to play well if they want to achieve their aim as the Redbacks have won five of their last six games.
In the AA-Midlands league, Leicester Blue Sox 2 will look to do their club mates a favour by taking a game or two from MK Bucks, while Birmingham Maple Leafs can extend their lead over the inactive Blue Sox first team to 2.5 games if they earn two wins at home against the Mildenhall Bulldogs 2. Humber Pilots and Sheffield Bladerunners meet for the second week in a row in AA-North, with the Bladerunners surely being keen to avenge their two defeats from last Sunday. The major contest in AA-South is a double-header between the Pool A-leading Poole Piranhas and Sidewinders. Sidewinders currently sit third in Pool B and with the second-placed Essex Archers scheduled to play two games against the 0-10 Brentwood Stags, they will be desperate for a win or two to keep themselves firmly in the hunt for a top two Pool finish that would lead to playoff qualification.
In the A-South league, Herts Raptors return to action after their stunning first win of the season against Braintree Rays two weeks ago with the tough task of taking on the Pool A-leading Richmond Dragons. The Rays look to bounce back from that unexpected loss with a trip to Guildford to face the Mavericks.
Great Britain’s 24-man roster for the European Championships is announced
Last but by no means least, Team GB has announced the 24 men who will be playing for the nation at the upcoming European Championships in Germany. The BBF leagues are represented on the roster, as noted on the official site of the Great Britain Baseball Programme:
“The roster contains players based all over the world, but notably has a strong contingent playing in the 2010 BBF National Baseball League, including two London Mets (George and Will Lintern) and four players from the national champion Bracknell Blazers (Henry Collins, Brendan Cunliffe, and Michael and Ryan Trask). One key player, catcher Mitch Evans, is a former London Warrior and will also be fulfilling a coaching role for the team.”
Further details about the squad and the upcoming tournament are available on the official website.