The Muskets spent the weekend competing in the British Baseball Federation Single A Championship hosted in Bristol. Taking on teams from Brighton, Essex and Kent the Muskets had a mixed fortunes in their two games. The Taunton outfit succumbed to a difficult 12-0 semi final loss to the Essex Archers on Saturday, however they shrugged off the loss to snatch third place in tournament on Sunday, coming from behind to snatch a one run win against the Kent Buccaneers, 18-17.
Saturday was a difficult result to take for the Muskets, with an uncharacteristically subdued performances throughout out the team. Facing an unknown opponent in the Essex Archers the Taunton side struggled with the bat and when the ball was put into play it managed to find an Essex fielder. While the team showed good spirit until the last out, it was the Essex side that sealed their place in the Sunday final showdown against Brighton with a 12-0 shut out.
Sunday’s third place playoff saw the Muskets take on the Kent Buccs, and the hangover from the semi loss looked like it would effect the Muskets again, as the Kent side took an early lead. The game seemed lost when starting pitcher Jake Palmer wasn’t getting the support from the defence that his pitching deserved, with the Muskets going into a do or die 5th innings 13-2 down. It would prove a turning point in the tie, with Muskets coming alive to score 4 in 5th, pushing the game to 7 innings. The defence began to find their groove and relief pitcher Alastair Hutton, in his last game for Taunton, limited the Buccs to 2 runs in reply. The momentum had certainly swung in the Muskets favour and the unlikely comeback was developing on the diamond. Some exceptional hitting and base running saw the Muskets claw back three more runs in the 6th inning. The final inning left the Taunton side 16-9 down, needing to score at least 8 to bring the Buccs back into bat.
What happened next can be likened to a hollywood ending for the Muskets, another strong offensive inning saw the Taunton side take the lead for the first time in the game, scoring 9 runs. Essex now needed to score two to tie and three to win during their at bat to end the game. It looked like the fairy tale ending was slipping away from the Muskets, allowing Essex to score one back and a couple of fielding miscues left Essex with the winning runs on base. It was not to be for Essex though, as Alan Trunks made the final out, catching a would be winning hit to left field, securing third place for the Muskets with a 18-17 win. The victory capped off an enjoyably competitive, albeit unusual, debut season in the BBF and gave the Muskets great experience playing against national opposition.