Written by Elizabeth Baker.
The Muskets were on the road again over the bank holiday weekend, back to Bristol to have a go at qualifying for the British Baseball Federation (BBF) Single A playoffs, against the Buccaneers (Bucs) of Bristol Baseball Club. The Taunton side had some new talent to display, with Corey John and Russell Chorley making promising debuts in the field and James Baker’s very first appearance as a catcher.
At first, the Buc’s strong batters put the Taunton side on their toes in the early innings. Rising to the challenge, the Muskets came out swinging with some big hits from Andrés Bianco, Robert Ford and Konrad Slon.
Though it was an away game, the Taunton Muskets made themselves very comfortable on Bristol’s main diamond. Some aggresive base-stealing in the first game from Alastair Hutton, Kevin Snow, Scott Morse and Stuart Pike brought home enough runs to give the Muskets a big lead against the Bucs.
Taunton’s combination of big hits, aggressive base-stealing and slick in-field defence saw them take the first game 18-3, with Jake Palmer notching his first win pitching for the Muskets.
With the Muskets chasing the table topping Bristol Bats, they needed a result in game 2 against the Bucs.
Could the Muskets do it again?
Game 2 rolled around but the day was wearing on and the heat was becoming intense. Soon both sides ran into some pitching difficulties and gave away a few walks. The Bucs were starting to get a few runs on the board until the Muskets rallied and started throwing out some more huge hits.
A few innings of this and the score was hovering uncertainly on 19-5. One more run and the Muskets could snatch a vital win in the 5th inning, but without it, the Buc’s could always rally to drag them game into extras and potentially make a spirited fight back. However, even in the face of the Buc’s great promise and spirit as a team, Andrés drove home the advantage with a final, cheeky base-steal to home plate and tipped the scales over into the Musket’s favor, taking a 20-10 victory.
Though the Bucs showed some great promise and spirit, the Muskets dominated both games with a powerful combination of aggressive base-stealing and efficient in-field defence. The Muskets will travel to Bristol again on September 6th facing both Bristol teams, with the winner sealing their place in the playoffs.