The calm conditions that greeted the Belfast Northstars as they pulled into Henry Jones field last weekend belied the storm that was on its way in the shape of the Dublin City Hurricanes.
Two games and two solid pitching performances from William Pena and Patrick Cooley, along with a few long balls by the visitors ensured they would head home still undefeated on the year.
Jon Carter would see the wrong end of the scoresheet after the Hurricanes jumped to an early 7-1 lead five innings in and despite a gutsy fightback powered by a Colin Woods line drive home run, the Northstars could only plate another 3 runs before the game was over.
There was no let up in the second game for the home side, Mark Smith taking the loss in this one in the form of a 6-0 shutout by Cooley.
The A team will now take a three week break from Baseball Ireland as several of the team prepare to travel to the Finkstonball invitational tournament in Austria; the B team will have a shorter journey ahead.
Today the ‘B’ Northstars took on the Cavan Comets for the first time this season. The series was split in the Stars’ favour last year against an ever-improving Comets side. In the first game, Gord Cuthbert took the win in relief after a solid 4 1/3 innings of work (1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) as the Belfast team doubled up Cavan, 14-7.
The second game of the series would see an offensive outburst with the Northstars scoring 12 runs in the first inning and tacking on another 6 in the third; the game was called after the fourth inning, 18-2.
The final game would see a determined Comets side come out swinging, driven by a stellar performance by Forrest Pierce (3 H, 3 R, 6 RBI). The Belfast team would counter with its own great outing by Sean Shackley (2 H, 2 R, 4 RBI) but would fall short as Cavan would take the slugfest 16-12.
As well as the young rookie players this year, the upcoming weeks should see a return to action in maroon and gold for two former Northstars, Garth Stewart and Jon Lanman.
Both holdovers from current General Manager Neil Boyd’s tenure as head coach, the speedy Stewart will no doubt be a dangerous weapon in the outfield for today’s coaches, and the experienced Lanman will be looking to form a potent combination in the infield with fellow Missouri native, Joel Binkley.
The squad continues to build as the Northstars move into the heart of the season.
Check back with us soon for an update on today’s game!!
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