BRITISH BASEBALL FEDERATION
SINGLE A LEAGUE
SOUTH POOL A
Haverhill Blackjacks 21 Kent Mariners 11
Blackjacks recorded a convincing win in a game that was evenly contested until a 9-run rout by Haverhill in the fifth inning.
Home runs were the highlight again for the home side as rookies and veterans alike swung for the fences.
It was, however, a game that could have been very different, with Kent unable to field a full complement of nine players, Haverhill were always likely to have the upper hand.
Despite this, errors aplenty allowed Kent to fight on and fight well with decent batting averages across most of their lineup.
The first inning saw both teams plate three runs each.
Rookie, Nick Kesingland - star of the show last week after hitting a homer in his first ever game of baseball - put any beginner’s luck jibes to bed by hitting a second home run this week that drove in all of Haverhill’s three runs! And there was more still to come.
In the second inning, Haverhill took the lead after pitcher, Alan Symons - recording his first W and complete game - had shutout Kent and the offence went on to chalk up five runs.
For all the offensive prowess shown by Haverhill, errors in defence and Kent’s equally solid batters kept them in the game, with three runs in the third and two more in the fourth.
The fifth inning is where Haverhill finally broke through.
Symons again pitched a shutout inning before veteran, Marcus Gooday came to the plate.
Not to be outdone by the rookies, Gooday hit the ball hard and low but with enough power to see it over the left field fence for Haverhill’s second homerun of the day.
Before the home team had finished celebrating there was more jubilation as the now notorious Kesingland struck again with yet another homer!
Haverhill went on to bat through the order and the back-to-back solo home runs were followed by runs from Simon Lee, Chris Connett (who’d thankfully left his dress at home after his recent stag do and was donning the catcher’s gear for the first time!), Steven Esdale, Blake Broekhove, Alan Symons and one more each from Gooday and Kesingland.
Kent hit back with a three more runs from Sam Ratcliff, James Pitcher and Robert Bristow - who formed a formidable top of the order, posting good averages and half of Kent’s hits between them.
But by the seventh inning Haverhill’s lead proved insurmountable and when Ratcliff popped up it was calmly caught by Symons to end the game on the slaughter rule.
Sadly these two teams aren’t due to meet again in regular season, as it would surely have been a much tighter contest without Haverhill’s one-man advantage.
The Blackjacks were clinical at bat, with every player making good contact, but with a week off now for training the focus will certainly be on ironing out some of those crucial errors.
Training will be held on Sunday at Park Road (CB9 7YD) and will be open to all.
Start time will be flexible depending on the weather forecast so keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook.
If you fancy trying a new sport, now is the time to do it - come on down and give baseball a go.