Guildford Mavericks @ Bracknell Inferno
After a two week rest, Guildford made the short trip to take on Bracknell Inferno. Both teams were having strong seasons with Guildford looking to bounce back from their first defeat.
Rob Wheeler stepped in at the last minute to be the Mavericks starting pitcher and set Bracknell down in order with a strikeout and the outfield helping by taking two deep catches. Guildford shortstop Ryan Hicks made Bracknell pay when he was hit by the first pitch he faced and first baseman Dave Austin got the scoreboard working by hitting him in. Bracknell came out swinging in the second inning by batting around and plating seven runs. There were some big hits as Coster, Przywa and Couchlan all had RBI doubles for the Inferno.
Leigh Coke was looking sharp as the Inferno’s starting pitcher but allowed two lead off singles on 0-2 counts to lefties Wheeler and second baseman Nathan who squared up the baseball nicely to smack it over the heads of the infield into shallow centre. The inning tailed off after the infield fly rule was called for the first out but left fielder Chris Ward managed to knock Wheeler home. The Mavericks’ gloves showed a bit of rust after the break where three errors were committed in the top of the third inning allowing Bracknell to extend their lead to 12-3. Catcher Edgar Simbajon took over from Wheeler pitching striking out seven in four innings.
The clouds disappeared to change the overcast day into a lovely summers day but what Guildford needed were runs. Third baseman Chris Lary led off with a solid single and Ward reached base following an error by Adam Blunden at third. Something then happened that you don’t see very often as there were two infield fly rules called – both on first pitches and both caught by pitcher Coke. From a very promising position the Mavericks were quickly down two outs but Austin made sure that his team was smiling when he crushed his first home run of the season over the centre field fence knocking in three RBI’s. Austin had a good day with the bat ending up with five RBI’s. Coke ended the inning by taking his third pop-up of the inning, again not something you see in every game.
Not to be out-done in the long game, Coke went yard in the bottom of the inning continuing his great game with the bat. However, he ran out of steam with the ball in the fifth by walking three consecutive batters so shortstop Cameron Gittoes took over with the bases loaded and no outs. He promptly struck out the next three batters leaving Guildford to wonder what might have been.
Gittoes was lights out on the mound and only allowed the Mavericks to score one run in his four innings while striking out nine. With Bracknell having the lead they took the chance to end the game in the eighth inning when that man again, Coke hit Gittoes home to take their lead to ten runs and enforce the mercy rule. Final score 19-9.
Guildford are now 6-3 and will start a three game homestand starting with the Richmond Dukes visiting Christ College this Sunday.
Words by Ben Stobart