British Baseball Weeks 1 & 2: Hamilton Sets British Homer Record; Four NBL Teams Tied

The British baseball regular season started on May 2, with action in seven of its 17 leagues. We will primarily cover the top circuit, the National Baseball League (NBL), while highlighting noteworthy feats in the lower tiers. For more on the exceptionally complex structure of British baseball, we recently published a primer [link]. The NBL looks primed for some excitement as the London Mets aim for their fourth straight title and eighth consecutive championship series appearance.

The highlights start with Jessica Vernon, a long-time Bracknell player and coach, who became the first known woman to pitch in a NBL game for Herts. That alone would be impressive enough, but Vernon was the only person to toe the mound and record a 1-2-3 inning on either team. Moreover, she did not do it alone, as Marianna Casal suited up at second base, almost certainly making the Falcons the first-ever national league team with two women between the lines at the same time.

Some noteworthy performances from Game One of the season include a rollicking 23-22 final at Herts, where a 5-for-5 with five runs and five RBI effort for Essex Arrows’ Giovanni Escalona led the team to victory despite a longball, two doubles, and a single by Chris Hiche, who drove in seven for the Falcons and three doubles and a single with four RBI for Phil Clark. Also in an NBL opener, the London Capitals’ Masa Hisaguchi spun a rare shutout (7IP, 7H, 1BB, 8K). 14-year-old Travis Harfield’s 8-for-10 performance helped the Lancashire Legends to an Opening Day sweep before “slipping” to a 3-for-7 effort on the second weekend.

BBF National Baseball League Standings

Box scores are available here [link]. All games contested in or immediately outside Greater London, regardless of team name.

Results
Home team listed second.

Week 1 (May 2)
Lancs. Legends 10 – Lon. Legends 8
Capitals 10 – Mets 11
Arrows 23 – Falcons 22
Lancs. Legends 18 – Lon. Legends 6
Capitals 6 – Mets 0
Arrows 16 – Falcons 13

Week 2 (May 9)
Arrows 18 – Lancs. Legends 3
Capitals 7 – Lon. Legends 3
Mets 22 – Falcons 2
Arrows 8 – Lancs. Legends 9
Capitals 12 – Lon. Legends 2
Mets 22 – Falcons 3

League Leaders in Lower Leagues
Highlights of the first fortnight of play include a four-homer game for Martyn Hamilton in an 18-11 Single-A win for Essex Redbacks on May 9. Hamilton is believed to be the first player ever to hit four round-trippers in a British baseball games. Alex Sencion hit a grand slam and a three-run homer for Milton Keynes Bucks in an 18-11 win over the Cambridge Monarchs in BBF Double-A play on May 2. The Monarchs had a grand slam of their own.

See fortnight’s full results and league tables here [British Baseball 2021, Weeks 01-02]. If you know the results (including a postponement) of any these games, please do leave a comment. If any clubs would like to submit box scores, statistics, or game feats, we welcome them to extrainningsbb@gmail.com.

If the various leagues and classifications are new to you, or if you follow British baseball and are—understandably—confused anyway, check out out primer here [link].

Notes and Key
Footnoted player accomplishments do not denote special interest to a certain team, merely that our staff visited the team’s website or Facebook page in its quest for scores.
Red font: make-up games required.
Yellow highlight: results unknown, likely postponed.

Team names in special colours denote only their place in our internal multi-year archive (which is particularly strong for the 1930s-70s (thanks to Project COBB and, to a lesser extent, the British Newspaper Archive) and 2003-present. We welcome any schedules, results, clippings, statistics, or other information for any league in any year.

League No. Teams Leader W-L Pct.
BBF Triple-A South 7 Essex Redbacks 3-1 .750
BBF Triple-A South West 4 Bournemouth Bears 2-0 1.000
BBL Triple-A North 4 Opening Day June 6
BBF Double-A Central 6 Oxford Kings 4-0 1.000
BBF Double-A South East 6 Croydon/Sidewinders 3-0 1.000
BBL Double-A North 4 Opening Day June 6  
BBF Single-A Central 6 Essex Redbacks 4-0 1.000
BBF Single-A South 6 Brighton Jets 3-1 .750
BBF Single-A South East 6 Tonbridge Wildcats 2-0 1.000
BBF Single-A Severn 4 Opening Day May 30  
BBF Single-A Wessex 4 Opening Day May 16  
Single-A East of England 8 Three teams tied 2-0 1.000
BBL Single-A North 7 Opening Day June 6  
Single-A Westcountry 5 Opening Day May 16  
Single-A West Midlands 7 Opening Day June 6  

 

About Gabriel Fidler

Extra Innings UK covers baseball around the world, focussing on the sport at the national team level, with features on prominent players, scouting reports, and occasional breaking news. We are fully credentialled by MLB and have covered the World Baseball Classic, continental championships, and the U.S. minor leagues.
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