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Baseball stars miss out in final
4:00pm Friday 20th September 2013 in Sport
The 2013 season ended in bitter disappointment for the Southampton Mustangs as they lost the National Baseball League Championship game to surprise winners Harlow Nationals. Mustangs had overpowered the London Mets in the semi-final, only to run out of steam in the final.
The Nationals secured their third consecutive title with a classy display to bely their fourth-place finish in the regular season standings.
The win over the London Mets was Southampton’s most flawless performance in recent memory. Catcher Oscar Sierra ripped a two-out two-RBI single to left field to open the scoring. The two-out rally continued and the Mustangs scored four more times in the inning, punctuated by Justin Frosina driving home two with a single of his own. That was already more than enough run support for Southampton’s star Czech pitcher, Tomas Zondra, who was helped by great defence in allowing no runs through the first five Mets innings. London finally got on the board in the sixth when Eric Messer hit an RBI single to convert Martin Tucker’s triple, but by that time Southampton had opened up a 12-1 advantage, with Richard Bibby (four hits, two runs), Alberto Rodriguez (three hits), Sierra (three hits, two runs) and Aizpurua (two hits, two RBIs) among the main offensive contributors.
The eventual score was a 15-1 mercy-rule win.
Manager Ben Davis said: “This was one of the most comprehensive wins we have ever had, and to do it in the national semi-final, is the proudest moment in my nine years as manager of this great club.”
The Mustangs began the final against the Harlow Nationals as badly as they had started the semi-final well. A pair of fielding errors allowed the Nationals to jump into a 3-0 lead, Mustangs eventually losing 12-7.
Davis said: “Defeat is always tough, but this one is different.
“It will now make us more hungry and focused on taking that last step next year.
“I am very happy with how this team has performed this year, and I really look forward to repeating the success next season.”
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