Leicester Blue Sox have qualified for the 2019 BBF Single-A National Baseball Championships, scheduled for this weekend 7th/8th September at the Farnham Park Baseball Complex in Slough.
Standing in their way is a familiar foe, local rivals Long Eaton Storm who have been neck and neck with Leicester all season long. Now both teams fittingly face off on Saturday in the National Semi Final.
After turning over the Storm for the BBF Central Division Championship three weekends ago, the Blue Sox progressed to the Quarter Final playoff stage hosting the Essex Redbacks at Western Park the Sunday before last.
Armando Da Silva started on the hill for Leicester and made light work of the Redbacks opening batting order in the first inning.
The Sox replied in emphatic fashion scoring a colossal nine runs off six hits, including a highlight two-run double from Rik Martina.
Psychologically this was a big blow for Essex so early into the game but they managed to claw back one run off three hits in the second inning.
There was no let up from Leicester in bottom half, with Zeke Camarillo leading things off with a first pitch home run. Three more runs followed including another two run knock from Martina. Leicester looked comfortable going 13-1 ahead into the third inning.
Da Silva was also in imperious from, striking out the Redbacks’ in order and ending his day with five strike-outs and just four base runners allowed.
Essex decided to change pitchers going into the bottom of the third, but it didn’t change their fortunes. Leicester batted around its order once again, with six more runs coming across the plate.
In the fourth inning, Martina took the ball and also struck out the Essex batters in order. He then allowed just a consolation run to come across the plate in the final inning, with Leicester riding out 19-2 winners.
All eyes will now be on Farnham Park this weekend. Should Leicester prevail against Long Eaton, they will face either the Birmingham Outlaws or South Coast Pirates in the final on Sunday and with that an opportunity to win a fourth National title on the tenth anniversary of winning their first.
The final on Sunday will be televised live on the British Baseball Federation’s You Tube channel.
An exciting weekend of baseball awaits, let’s go Blue Sox!