Blue Sox dethrone Royals to go top of the table

Leicester Blue Sox first baseman, Andrew Davidson stretches for an out. Credit – Laura Ross

Leicester Blue Sox (3-1) took to the road for the first time in 2019 this Sunday, with a trip down the A14 to visit the Cambridge Royals (3-3) for a Bank Holiday double header. Leicester were once again able to bring new blood into the gameday setup with debutants Dec Armstrong and Laura Ross called up to the first team squad by player-manager Ron Mason for the first time.

Game one of the double-header saw Blue Sox Mason take the mound facing off against the opposing manager Dan Sewell, taking the hill for the visitors. The Blue Sox hitters started the game strongly, putting five runs up in the 1stinning, taking advantage of wild pitching from Sewell and the Royals defence on the base paths.

With the early lead Mason came out throwing strikes but the Royals were up to the challenge, tying the score with some big hits from the top of their lineup. Leicester regained the lead with three runs in the 2nd, with the bases loaded and two out, a vital error from Cambridge allowed all three runners to come in to score. Mason held the lead, facing four hitters in the bottom of the inning, allowing his bats to extend the lead further in the 3rd on a big 2-run double from 3B Rob Seward. Over the next 2 innings Cambridge were able to reduce the deficit to 10-9 going into the final inning, stringing three singles together in the 3rd and scoring two in the 4th with a two-out rally that was squashed by Mason with a strikeout with runners on 2nd and 3rd as the Royals looked to take the lead for the first time.

Leicester responded to this challenge in fine style, with two outs in the final inning the bats rallied with big hits from 2B Rich Ross IV, catcher Rikson Martina and Seward to add 8 more runs and put the game out of reach. Cambridge valiantly fought to claw back the deficit, scoring 3 runs before Mason picked off 3B Joshua Clegg to end game one.

Leicester sent Martina to the mound to start game two to face off against Clegg, with both teams starting slowly after the excitement of game one, Martina striking out the side in the first inning. In the second the Leicester lineup once again took advantage of erratic Royals defence, with two runs on pairs of walks and errors, and an RBI single from catcher Diogo Barros. Cambridge scored what would be their only run of the game in the second, as Martina controlled the game throughout, scattering 8 hits whilst striking out 9.

Leicester continued to tack on runs as Cambridge cycled through their pitchers in an attempt to find someone to halt the procession of Blue Sox hitters around the basepaths. The wild affair was halted in the fifth, with the score 17-1, when Royals outfielder Cameron Doncaster was felled with a nasty leg injury whilst attempting to make an acrobatic play on a deep fly ball from Mason.

The sweep of the double header means Leicester Blue Sox move to the top of the BBF Single-A Central division ahead of a visit from third place Birmingham Bandits to Western Park on May 12th. First pitch scheduled at 12 noon.

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