London Meteors bow out of Men’s Super Cup

Fri 7 Sep 2018

Friday 7 September – The London Meteors Men’s Fastpitch Team had their best game of the competition today at the European Men’s Super Cup in Prague, but suffered yet another loss that brought their tournament to a close.

The Meteors mounted their biggest offensive display of the week this morning against the French team Cavigal Nice, and held a 6-1 lead at the end of the second inning.  But Cavigal scored in each of the last five innings and eventually prevailed by a score of 14-11.

The Meteors out-hit the French team by 15-11, with Tom Russell and guest player Vita Koci getting three hits each, and committed only one error to Cavigal’s four.  But a key factor once again was that Meteors’ pitchers Gareth Jooste, who threw five+ innings, and Wes Knapp, who pitched most of the sixth and seventh, gave up 11 walks and hit two batters. 

By contrast, Cavigal pitcher Nicholas Falyol, with pitched a complete game, allowed only three walks.

The Meteors finished the tournament with an 0-7 record and will likely finish last in the ‘ESF’ section of the tournament.  The 18-team competition split into Championship (‘Super Cup’) and Placement (‘ESF’) sections after the initial round-robin.

The team scored in only three of their seven games, and were no-hit three times, though these were all in games shortened by the mercy rule.

However tough the tournament has been on the young British-based GB Men’s Team pool players who make up the majority of the Meteors’ squad, it has nevertheless provided exactly the kind of experience they need against high-level pitching in order to improve for future ESF Championship tournaments.


Cavigal Nice 14, London Meteors 11

The game started relatively quietly.  Cavigal Nice scored a run in the top of the first inning on a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly, and it remained 1-0 when Meteors came up in the bottom of the second inning.

But the British team then had their most productive inning of the tournament, scoring six times to take a 6-1 lead, and it all came with two out and no one on base. 

Vita Koci started things with a double to centre field and scored on Ben Tomlin’s single to right.  Josh Peat then walked and Tom Russell singled up the middle to score Ben.  A couple of wild pitches followed to move runners around the bases before Tom Priscott singled, Damon Brown tripled to left field and Matt Tomlin reached on an error.  The Meteors suddenly had a five-run lead.

But it wasn’t to last.  The British team scored only one run over the next three innings while leaving three runners on base, and Cavigal started to rack up the runs, with three in the top of the third inning, two in the fourth, four in the fifth and two more in the sixth.

So when the Meteors came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning, their 6-1 lead had become a 12-7 deficit.

At that point, the Meteors rallied again, and almost closed the gap, scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to just 12-11.

Tom Russell got things started with a one-out infield single, Tom Priscott walked, and then another infield single by Wes Knapp loaded the bases.  Two runs scored on Matt Tomlin’s single to right centre, and Wes Knapp also came home on an outfield error, with Matt Tomlin ending up on third.  Ieuan Gale then singled Matt home for the fourth run of the inning, still with only one out. 

But Trent Nash struck out looking and Vita Koci lined out to third base, leaving the Meteors one run behind with an inning to go.

Sadly, Cavigal Nice added a further two runs in the top of the seventh inning, and the Meteors went down in order in the bottom half.  The chance of a win was gone.


Scores

Here are the scores so far in the Championship (‘Super Cup’) and Placement (‘ESF’) playoffs:

Championship ('Super Cup') Playoffs

THURSDAY
Stenlose Bulls 6, Von Holmback Hurricanes 2
Tempo 3, Borgerhout Squirrels 0
Braaschaat Braves 4, Hippos Havlickuv Brod 2
Spectrum Prague 7, Zraloci Ledenice 4
Amager Vikings 1, Tempo 0
Braaschaat Braves 4, Spectrum Prague 1
Amager Vikings 4, Stenlose Bulls 1

FRIDAY
Zraloci Ledenice 6, Borgerhout Squirrels 5
Tempo 7, Van Holmback Hurricanes 5
Hippos Havlickuv Brod v Zraloci Ledenice
Tempo 8, Spectrum Prague 3
Stenlose Bulls 4, Zraloci Ledenice 1
Braaschaat Braves 4, Spectrum Prague 1
Amager Vikings 4, Stenlose Bulls 1


Placement {'ESF') Playoffs

THURSDAY
Hoboken Pioneers 7, Hoofddorp Pioniers 0
Bears 4, Cavigal Nice 1
Gladsaxe 12, London Meteors 1
MRKI Medvedi 3, Barracudas Montpellier 2
Quick Amersfoort 11, Bears 1
Quick Amersfoort 10, MRKI Medvedi 0
Hoboken Pioneers 9, Gladsaxe 4

FRIDAY
Cavigal Nice 14, London Meteors 11
Barracudas Montpellier 13, Bears 1
Hoofddorp Pioniers 11, Cavigal Nice 1
Barracudas Montpellier 8, Gladsaxe 1
Hoofddorp Pioniers 8, MRKI Medvedi 5
Quick Amersfoort 1, Hoboken Pioneers 0
Barracudas Montpellier 6, Hoofddorp Pioniers 3

You can follow all the results from the tournament here: http://competition.europeansoftball.org/2018/prague/schedule.php.

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