At a (strangely appropriate) rain soaked Corkagh Park in Dublin, the Belfast Northstars were put to the sword by the Dublin City Hurricanes as their hopes of an undefeated season were smashed. The B team will look to a long layoff now as the A team (after an extended gap in their own schedule) try and fight their way back up the A league standings.
With an eye on the future, coach Jose Santos would send rookie Sean McMahon to the hill in the first game; and although it proved to be a baptism of fire for the softball convert, this would not be the only glimpse of a promising future pitching staff on the day.
McMahon would be pulled for the experienced Darwin Sanchez and although he would pitch what would be thought of as a solid outing (5.2 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 6K) any other day, the Stars would leave their comeback too late, scoring four in the last inning but ultimately falling 10-6 on the day.
The second game; well the second game will be one that the Northstars could call ‘a bad day at the office’….
Surrendering 17 runs in the second inning, the Stars would limp to a 23-1 thrashing in a game that was littered with seven errors and poor performances. The term ‘mercy rule’ has perhaps never been used so poignantly as the game was called after four innings. Perhaps the one positive aspect of the second game was a solid two innings of work by Klevier Sanchez, the talented and precocious rookie (3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). No doubt Sanchez and McMahon will be looking for more innings of work to hone their craft as the season for the B league Northstars begins to look towards the playoffs.
Jon Carter and the ‘A’ Northstars take over now and welcome the Black Sox to Henry Jones Field on Saturday; they will be looking to settle the score having been victim of a Sox walk-off at the start of May. On that day Carter would struggle for pitching options and, carrying a knock himself, would hand the ball to Melvyn Woods who would proceed to spin eight impressive innings of work (2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 8 K). Unfortunately, the Stars offense was stymied by an impressive complete game outing from The Black Sox’ Brendan Scott (9.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 10 K) and the final result would come down to a broken play in the bottom of the ninth inning that would leave the Belfast team with a bad taste in their mouths.
The Northstars will be looking for the comforts of home this weekend as they look to get rolling after a long layoff.
By Neil Boyd (General Manager)
For more information about the games, or if you would like to get involved, contact the Northstars on email@example.com. Check out their Facebook page (Belfast Northstars Baseball) and follow them on twitter (@NorthstarsBB).
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