Playoff loss puts Meteors out of Men’s Super Cup

Fri 30 Aug 2019

Nettuno, Italy: 30 August – The second game played by the Meteors Men’s Fastpitch Team in the ESF Cup section at the European Men’s Super Cup this morning was close for five innings.  But then the game got away and the loss put the Meteors out of the competition.

Playoffs at both the top (Super Cup) and bottom (ESF Cup) of the tournament are being played in a double elimination format this year.  This morning’s game, against MRKI Medvedi from Croatia, which eventually ended in an 11-2 mercy rule defeat after six innings, was the Meteors’ second loss in the ESF Cup section after going down 3-1 on Thursday to BC Contois from France.

As a result, the Meteors will be spectators as the competition is played to a close over the rest of today and tomorrow.

“It’s a disappointing way to end the tournament,” Head Coach Robbie Robison said afterwards, “but overall the week was a success.  We came out here to develop and learn, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.

“We had a win this year, we had some close games and we scored a lot more runs than last year,” Robbie added, “and all of that means we have something to take forward.”


Tough start

This morning’s game got off to a tricky start when the Croatians scored three runs in the top of the first inning, two of them driven in on a triple by Danijel Antolovich, who then scored on a wild pitch.

However, the Meteors came back with single runs in the bottom of the first and second innings, and starting pitcher Josh Peat kept the Croatian offense quiet over the next four innings, striking out six Medvedi batters along the way.  So the Meteors trailed just 3-2 at the end of the fifth.

But the game blew up on the British team in the top half of the sixth inning as the Croatians scored eight runs against Josh Peat and reliever Karl Hjelm on four hits, two walks, a wild pitch, a stolen base and an error.  The final nail in the coffin, that took the score into mercy rule territory, was a bases-clearing double by Medvedi catcher Stepan Mutinsky.

Damon Brown had a one-out single for the Meteors in the bottom of the sixth inning – only their second hit of the game against Croatian pitcher Seth Ross – but there was no comeback to be had.

The Meteors’ only other hit was a triple by Matt Tomlin leading off in the bottom of the first inning, and Matt came all the way around to score when the Croatian centre fielder misplayed the ball.

The Meteors’ other run, in the bottom of the second inning, was scored without the benefit of a hit.  Josh Peat, leading off, got to second on an error by the Medvedi shortstop, stole third and scored on a wild pitch.
 

Experience

As Robbie Robison has said all week, this tournament has been about giving young players in the GB Men and GB youth team programmes experience against good teams and good pitching, and that has been mission accomplished, with benefits to come in the future.

Round-robin scores and standings, playoff scores and – eventually – final standings from the 2019 European Men’s Super Cup can be seen on the ESF website here: http://competition.europeansoftball.org/2019/nettuno/schedule.php.

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