All go for the Belfast Baseball and Softball Club
This calendar week is definitely one of the busier in the short history of the BBSC, with all four teams being called into action and some on more than one occasion.
The Angels led things off against the Softball Ulster-leading Sliders, led by Northstar Will Mitchell. His side dominated from start to finish, squashing any momentum that the Halos could muster. 19-1 the final, Jay Slevin and Jonny Craven will view the game as a learning experience as they look to a lengthy layoff now, with almost a month to wait before they see another tough side, the Belfast rawlers.
On Wednesday evening the Northstars took up against the Hornets in a repeat of the previous Wednesday nights tilt. The result, unfortunately for Darwin Sanchez’ team, would go a similar way thanks to a standout performance by Colin Woods.
With Mark Smith and Melvin Woods resting their arms, the Hornets would send the big righthander to the mound and, after some control issues early, he would settle down and despite the Northstars playing excellent defence behind Will Mitchell, Woods himself would blow the game open in the third with a line drive home run over the left field fence.
That would inspire his Hornets to stretch out to a 7-0 lead and with another towering blast by Woods to the deepest part of the park, the writing was on the wall for the Stars.
With Kleiber Sanchez looking after the last few outs, the Hornets would walk away 10-0 victors on the evening.
The Hornets now put their feet up for a week before travelling to Cavan to take on the Comets.
The Northstars will get a chance to rebound immediately as they travel to Dublin’s Corcaigh Park to take on the Ashbourne Giants (1-9) as they are putting the finishing touches to their spectacular new facility.
Already leading 2-0 in the season series, Darwin Sanchez will be looking for his team to continue that good form against Ashbourne.
The first game was a tight knit affair with Sanchez himself leading his team to victory on the mound thanks to a complete game pitching performance (1 BB, 5 K) in a 3-0 shutout against Kevin Mitchell of the Giants whose stat line (3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 7 K) would have been enough on any other day. Mitchell and Kleiber Sanchez would combine to provide the offensive spark driving in 3 RBI on the day.
Sanchez Jr. would then turn in possibly his best pitching performance to date. Showing excellent control for one so young, the righthander would strike out seven and walk only four, figures that even veteran arms within the organisation would be envious of.
Feeding off their starters momentum, Darwin Sanchez and speedy infielder David Mundarain would total nine RBI between them, knocking out Giants starter Alex Holloway (7 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 6 K) and getting to getting to reliever Liam Shier (8 R, 8 ER, 5 BB, 3 K) as the margin would be much more comfortable for the Northstars, cruising to a 15-2 victory to get ahead in the series.
Nothing will be taken for granted this weekend however, as the Giants will no doubt be looking to make up ground on the Stars in the B league North.
After a long layoff, the Buccaneers (10-4) will be leaving the confines of Hydebank to make the journey south to take on the Cavan Comets.
The Cavan side (5-7) are already in a 3-0 hole against the Bucs before this weekend’s double header. The first game saw a comfortable 14-2 win for the Belfast side following a nine run outburst in the last inning. Jon Carter proved a force on the mound (6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) and in conjunction with shortstop Terry Rosbotham, fearsome at the dish as they would have four runs, seven hits and ten RBI between them.
The second game would be a much more balanced affair, the Buccaneers providing consistent output through their lineup catalysed by Christopher Barr (5 H, 3 RBI). This gave Carter enough run support to see the game closed out after six innings.
By comparison, the third game between the two sides would be a closer affair, 8-2 the final. The offence on this occasion was sparked by first baseman Chris Stange, centrefielder Ultan Magill and right fielder Billy Thompson (6 RBI combined) after the Bucs fell behind 2-1 in the first inning but, inspired by Sean Shackley’s quality outing (2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 K), the Belfast side would show consistent offensive output as the game progressed, adding runs in the first, third, fourth and sixth innings.
Coach Jose Santos will be looking for that same focus and determination against a Cavan side that can never be underestimated.
Be sure to check out the Facebook pages and twitter feeds for the teams of the Belfast Baseball and Softball Club – The Belfast Northstars(@NorthstarsBB) , The Belfast Buccaneers(@BelfastBucs), The Belfast Hornets (@BelfastHornets) and The Belfast Angels Softball Club (@Belfast_Angels).