Sheffield Bladerunners Baseball Club’s post-season adventure came to a heart-breaking finale, as they were beaten in an extra innings by Bolton Robots of Doom at the AA National Baseball Championships at Farnham Park.
The Sheffield side were competing in British baseball’s Final Four for the first time since 2005 and the two sides matched each other blow for blow, with the score knotted at 5-5 for most of the scheduled seven innings.
Starting pitcher Nick Wills kept the Bolton offense in check for most of the contest, before reliever Go Hasegawa took to the mound to try and halt any potential rally. Bolton’s starting pitcher Ryan Patterson put in a typically dominant display, pitching all nine innings without relief as Bolton surged ahead in the ninth, a lead which they did not surrender.
Bladerunners manager Wills said: “Although it is hugely disappointing to come out on the losing end, I’m immensely proud of what this team has achieved.
“Especially as this group of players are relatively inexperienced.”
Assistant coach Rich Green added: “A little over 12 months ago we were struggling to actually fulfil our fixtures because numbers were dwindling.
“Getting nine players out on the diamond shouldn’t be difficult, but last season we forfeited games because we just couldn’t do that. This year it’s a totally different story; we have a deep squad, competition for places and most importantly, everyone is enjoying playing baseball for Sheffield.”
The Bladerunners play their home games at the Thornclife Recreation Ground in High Green, and compete in the BBF (British Baseball Federation) North Division at AA Standard.
Manager Wills added: “Although we fell short, the future is bright for the Sheffield Bladerunners.
“We can only build on this season’s success and go from strength to strength.”
For more information on the club, visit their website at www.sheffieldbladerunners.co.uk.