The Mavericks went into the 2022 season, with a change in coach, as Chris Ward took over the reigns. Otherwise it was mostly the same platyers returning from 2021, with a few additions moving up from last years Gold Cats (Myles Buckton, Jasper Neary) and a new addition in Ed Ryan (C/P). Injuries again played their part, as Sam Boylett was lost for the year in a pre-season game, whilst Mat Strum was also sidelined not long into the season. For most of the season the Mavericks were able to keep pace with the league leading Croydon and Kent, and actually went into the final meeting with eventual AA Champs, Croydon, knowing that a sweep would have put them into the play-offs at their opponents expense. But it was not to be. Despite some good pitching performances early in the season, most notably a no-hitter from Lewis Bawden against Richmond, and sold batting from the likes of Diego Ansorena, Ed Ryan and Harvey Taylor, it was often the defenside side of things that let the team down, with jus a .919 team fielding pct. Nonetheless, their is anticipation that with the addition of a few more promising players moving up within the club, 2023 is still a season that the Mavericks will be looking forward to. Other highlights included some hotly contested games throughout the season, not least in game two of the season when the Mavericks came from 6 runs behind to win in the final inning against Richmond and not forgetting the final game of the season which ended in a 9-8 victory for the Mavericks whilst seeing 17 players take the field including a fantastic moment when Brian Kendal came to the plate to compete in the cardinal and gold again following a long lay-off. Overall the team used 10 pitchers in total across the season, who combined for 186 strikeouts across 150 innings. 207 runs were conceded but 271 runs scored (20 more than any other team in the pool) with an aggressive offense and approach. The Mavericks season finished with a .680 record at 18 wins and only 7 losses making a play-off push right until those final weekend’s fixtures, and ended up only two games back of Croydon. The home record was superb going 10-3 including dominant games where the Mavericks convincingly beat those AA Champions in back-to-back games, 17-11 and 9-3.
The Millers went into 2022, moving up a division to play in AA for the first time. The intention being to give those who had progressed at Single-A, but were not quite yet ready to move up to the Mavericks, a chance to experience AA level baseball. So it was a young team that went into the season, with Oona Ylinen and Kiwi at the helm running things on the field. Competitive in most matches, it was usually the hitting side which the team found the hardest, as pitching and an athletic defense kept the Millers in most games. Aggressive baseruninng was also a strong point and on the odd ocasion wen hits could be strung together, runs were put on the put on the board. But power was lacking in general, and really only Ben Burgess and Kiwi had any consistent power, until Jack Burdett joined after his exams and Oliver Wong found his stride later in the season. Owen Marlovits and Patrick Bennett probably showed the most improvement from the previous season, and as they grow and increase their power, this auges well. Season long injuries to Toby Allan and Michael Burdett, didn’t help the hitting, and Mike Payne was able to pitch but not bat for the first half of the season, all of which took more power from the line up. Mike in particular carried the team on the mound through much of the season, but was given admirable support from Kimi Hope, Oliver Wong, Patrick Bennett and Oona, so the team wasn’t lacking in options. The only win of the season game in the second game at Richmond, where everything clicked and hits came back to back, supporting a great effort from Oliver Wong, ably relieved by Jack Burdett to close out the game. A small sqaud was stretched to breaking point late in the season, and this showed with a number of forfeits. A larger sqaud and less injuries will help with this next season, and if nothing else, the season acheieved it’s aim of helping those younger players develop and progress towards moving up in the club. Finally a huge amount of thanks must go to the managing duo of Oona and Kiwi, as despite the losses, heads never went down, and there was always a great spirit in the squad. For two frst year managers themselves, this was a great effort.
The Gold Cats entered the season as Guildford’s development squad and only Single A team. A mixture of new players, old(er) players and youth players getting more senior experience, we went into our first two weekends with back to back doubleheader wins and a 4-0 win record. Unfortunately the rest of the season didn’t work out as well, and we had games where the offence was firing but defence wasn’t, or defence was solid but offence wasn’t. But most importantly, we were always competitive and had some heartbreaking close score lines that would have pushed us much further up the division, but remained rooted to last place by the end of the season. And even more importantly, it was a brilliantly fun season. Highlights included Hamish Carle’s outstanding pitching, which would have been a single digit ERA across the season with a more solid defence behind him, his filthy curveball foxed many single A batters. And Sam Beckwith’s batting strode confidently into its second seasons, including a two HR game against Herts Londoners and a ball hit into a London bus off the London Met’s field at Finsbury Park. New players like Ollie Shore and James Underwood took to the game like they’d been playing for years. Indeed, the better Gold Cats players ended up helping out both the Maverick and Miller Double A squads on many occasions – which is the best sign that despite the position of the Gold Cats on the league table, we’re performing our function of developing new players for the club overall.
Mavericks / Millers / Gold Cats