The Taunton Muskets hosted the St Austell Claycutters at Cannonsgrove and put on a complete team performance to continue their unbeaten start to the season. The Cornwall outfit are having a good second season in South West Baseball League, however they came unstuck against a Muskets team looking to build on their early season wins.
It was not all plain sailing for the Muskets though, as the beginning of this encounter was very edgy. The Claycutters took no time at all to get runs on the board, getting a couple across home plate in the top of the first. The Muskets could only manage one run in return in the bottom of the inning, with Jamie Pollard making it home after a hit and getting pushed round from a double off the bat of Kevin Snow. The game would remain tight until the bottom of the third, that was the point the Muskets hitting really helped open up a lead. Singles from Josh Farmer, Alan Trunks, Rob P, Leroy Bailey and Jake Palmer were supported by doubles from Andres Bianco and another for Kevin. It was Jamie that took the innings by the scruff of the neck, hitting a no doubt three run homer to centre field, giving the Muskets an 8-3 lead going into the business end of the game.
Defensively the Muskets continued to perform well, limiting the Claycutters to only one more run in the next four innings. Andres had another great outing on the mound and he was supported well in the field. The Claycutters defence also kept the game tight, with the Muskets only able to add a couple more runs until the bottom of the sixth. That was when the floodgates opened once again for the Muskets, adding another twelve runs to the scoreboard. Alistair Hutton and Stuart Pike both came off the bench to record two singles each, while the rest of the team all made it onto base, with a few more doubles from Kevin, Jamie and Andres. There was just time for one more long ball play in the inning, with Chris going deep with a grand slam hit to right centre field. The Claycutters were unable to respond in the top of the seventh and the Muskets run out 22-4 winners.
The result cemented the Muskets place at the top of the Northern Conference with a commanding 4-0 record. They will look to keep that unbeaten run going on the road in Plymouth next weekend.
Photographs and report courtesy of the Somerset Country Gazette