Woods boys fend off Spartan attack
Change of location perhaps, but anytime Melvin Woods toes the rubber for the Belfast Northstars, the resultant pitches tend to be the same.
Lots and lots of heat.
Coming off arm soreness that kept him off the hill in the last matchup against the defending champion Dublin Spartans, Woods battled control issues for the first few innings of this weekend’s game held at Lough Moss Leisure Centre, walking more batters than the big left hander is accustomed to.
Scoreless through the first, both teams would leave a number of runners stranded giving Shackley and his coaches plenty to work on this week. After the Dubliners took the lead 1-0 in the second, it was the coach himself who drove in Colin Woods to tie it up in the bottom of the second. It wouldnt be the only time Colin Woods would leave his mark on the game.
The Stars would load the bases in the bottom of the third inning for the third baseman who would then rip a frozen rope out to left field and, with Mark Smith and Sean McMahon requiring no convincing to be on their respective horses, the resulting ground rule double would give Belfast the lead, 3-1.
Having been given the lead, Melvin Woods would dig in and reward his hitters, cutting through the next six batters to take the game to the bottom of the fifth inning still at 3-1. He got some help from centre fielder Stephen Hunter who is proving to be a dangerous weapon for Belfast with the ground he can cover and an arm that is definitely giving runners pause when moving through scoring position. A double steal by McMahon and Smith would help drive the score out to 6-1 at the top of the sixth.
A spirited fightback by the visitors would see them clawing three runs back to get within two but, rising to the challenge, Woods refused to yield any further scores – 6-4 was the final score in a game that saw a much tighter defensive effort from the Northstars. Next up sees the Cavan Comets visiting Hydebank on Saturday that will see the return of Gord Cuthbert and Stephen Rogan to the lineup.
Another focussed performance will be expected.
by Neil Boyd
For more information about Angels softball, Northstars baseball and Razorbacks football, visit www.belfastbaseball.co.uk or follow the teams on social media/