The Buccaneers were part of a weekend long celebration to christen the new International Baseball Centre in Ashbourne and although the game was certainly worthy of the event, the Bucs left the new facility not having spoiled the party for the Giants.
The home side jumped to an early 4-0 lead and it was up to rookie Alex Linderman to kickstart the Bucs offense with a triple. A Chris Stange single later and the visitors were on the board. Three runs would follow in the next inning from Barr, Carter and Baschiera but unfortunately for Belfast, the Ashbourne bats didn’t cool off in the fourth, plating runners three more times.
With Carter taking the ball in the last two innings and shutting out the Giants offense and scoring a run of his own in the last, time ran out on the Buccaneers as the pitching combination of Kevin Mitchell, Sean Mitchell and Liam Shier made sure the home side christened their new turf with a victory.
Attention now turns to Wednesday night at Hydebank when the Bucs and Northstars will face off in a repeat of last Wednesday’s game. The teams will be hoping that the conditions will be slightly more friendly this time around.
With the first pitch already taking place under a gloomy sky, neither starter would have their best control. Melvin Woods would rely on his velocity but the Bucs Christopher Barr would be replaced by Sean Shackley with the Northstars 8-1 to the good thanks to timely hitting by first baseman Ian Walker.
Showing plate discipline, the Bucs would begin to draw walks from the Stars’ left hander. Baschiera, Barr, Carter and Shackley all scored in the fourth to trim the lead to 3 and despite allowing Kleiber Sanchez and David Mundarain to score over the next two innings, the Bucs would reach the bottom of the fifth inning five runs back.
With three consecutive singles and an error on the first baseman, Melvin Woods would be facing his bases loaded with no outs. Digging in, he would sit down Marian Neill and Stephen Van Houten and despite a walk to Billy Thompson bringing in another run, a swinging strikeout on Stefano Baschiera limited the damage and holding the score at 10-7.
After a brief meeting at home plate, both coaches decided it was too dark to continue play – the handshakes followed soon after.
by Neil Boyd
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).