Following on from their opening day defeat to the Yeovil Whirlwinds the Muskets traveled to Cornwall to take on the relocated Cornish Claycutters in Truro. While the bank holiday sun shone it was not a good day at ball park for the Muskets, with a combination of poor hitting and fielding errors leading to a narrow 4-3 walk off defeat to the Cornish outfit.
The Muskets had got off to a good start, taking an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, with Henry Stirzaker marking his first game of the season with a run. Andres Rivas Bianco then continued his impress start to the season on the mound with a couple of solid opening innings, retiring the side in order over the first three innings. There was very little to do in the field, with only a few routine plays to first and a fly to shallow 2nd base to keep the Muskets’ defence on their toes. Unfortunately the Muskets were unable to capitalize during the early innings, failing to make solid contact at the plate and leaving runners stranded when in good scoring positions. Only Joshua Farmer and Leroy Bailey showed any real composure at the plate during the game, with Josh notching 2 hits and a walk, while Leroy got himself 3 hits and 2 R.B.Is, driving in Alastair Hutton on both occasions.
An error at 2nd base by Chris Chantrey allowed the Claycutters back into the game in 5th, with the score at 2-1, before Alastair’s second run made it 3-1 to the Muskets. Things then began to take a turn as the Claycutters clawed their way back into the game. After a few walks a blooper to shallow right field helped them tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the 8th and, after the Muskets again failed to connect with the bat in the bottom of the 9th, the Claycutters loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the ninth , before getting a solid infield hit to walk off the game 4-3 winners.
Not the result the Muskets were hoping for, especially after losing their first game in a similarly pitcher dominated affair, but their were again positives to take from the game. Rookie Steve Cole got his first at bat, while Andres and Jamie Pollard again combined well to dominate the opposition offence. The Muskets take to the road again this Sunday (12th) in a rematch of last years championship final against Exeter Spitfires. Both teams go into the game with a 0-2 record and there is sure to be a bit of tension as neither side will want to slip to 0-3 at this early stage of the season.