After a relaxing weekend off, the Belfast Northstars (10-0) will make the journey south this weekend to face the Dublin City Hurricanes (6-1) in a B league top of the table clash.
The Stars will want to continue their hot streak but the way is blocked by an always formidable Hurricanes side that will be looking to stall the speedy Belfast squad that took last year’s season series 2-1, but would ultimately fall to those same Hurricanes in the B league playoff finals.
The Northstars would be dominant in the first two games, taking both by a scoreline of 14-4. In the first Joel Binkley would make a rare start for the B team and would make his presence felt (2 R, 3 H, 4 RBI) behind Mark Smith on the bump (6.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 8 BB, 7 K). The rest of the lineup would provide a balanced attack that would see the game called in the sixth with the Stars plating nine runs.
The second game would be a similar affair, with Sean Shackley putting in a solid start (6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 7 K) and a balanced attack again being provided by the Northstars highlighted by eight runs in the third to put the game out of the Hurricanes reach. Smith and Jose Santos would do the heavy lifting in the second game, combining for 3 runs, 4 hits and 7 RBI.
The momentum gained in these two games ran into a roadblock in the third game in the shape of William Pena. Despite another enviable start by Smith (6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 11K), Pena was nothing short of dominant (7.0 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 17 K) in shutting down a Northstars’ offense that took full advantage of the few errors that the Hurricanes made. Unfortunately on the day, Belfast made their own share of mistakes and simply did not provide enough run support for their pitcher.
The Belfast Northstars will be hoping that the weekend off has given them a chance to heal some bumps and bruises and will see them ready to take on the Hurricanes.
By Neil (General manager)
For more information about the games, or if you would like to get involved, contact the Northstars on firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out their Facebook page (Belfast Northstars Baseball) and follow them on twitter (@NorthstarsBB).
Don’t forget to check out the first episode of our new documentary ‘Striking In: A Year With the Belfast Northstars’: