North Stars B 18-2 Comets (4 innings)
North Stars B 12-16 Comets
The Belfast North Stars B side guaranteed entry into the Baseball Ireland playoffs after splitting their doubleheader against the Cavan Comets last Sunday afternoon.
Knowing the implications of achieving victory, Belfast made a flying start in game 1 and took a commanding lead after the first inning. They entered the game in fine form and the impressive batting continued as the B Stars ambushed Cavan starting pitcher Melvin Woods. A huge total of 12 runs were scored in the first inning, with Conall Hamill’s bases clearing double being the highlight. Another 6 runs would be added in the 3rd inning and the Stars’ starting pitcher Mark Smith prevented any meaningful Comets’ response by striking out 7 of the batters he faced and yielding just 3 hits. Cavan did score 2 runs in the fourth inning but it was not enough to prevent a mercy rule victory for Belfast.
The Comets came out triumphant in game 2 after a high scoring back and forth affair. In a complete turnaround of the first game, they more than matched the batting of Belfast. Forrest Pierce provided the power for Cavan, going 3 for 6 with 2 doubles and a booming home run while picking up 6 RBIs. On the base paths Cavan were aggressive from the start and stole 14 bases, 6 of which were courtesy of Melvin Woods as Belfast struggled to stymie the Comets’ running game. Errors also had a part to play in Cavan’s victory as the Stars’ committed 5 in total to prolong scoring chances for Cavan.
Belfast would end the day with an 11-5 record on the season with 2 games yet to play but a playoff spot secured, prompting Coach Jose Santos to salute the achievement and praise the work ethic of his inexperienced side while noting the important role played by the veterans of the Belfast squad.
Cavan now have a 4-9 record but have 5 games to play and must finish strongly if they are to progress to the playoffs.
By Stephen Rogan