By London Mets
This past weekend at Farnham Park, the British Baseball Federation put on a fantastic National Championship tournament with Finals in both the National Baseball League (NBL) and the Triple-A Divisions and the London Mets Baseball & Softball Club made history.
The London Mets Baseball team won its 2nd consecutive National Baseball League (NBL) Championship, decisively sweeping the Herts Falcons on Sunday afternoon to become the only British club with 5 total National Championships.
The Mets dominated the Falcons in all aspects of the game. Our starting pitchers set the tone, with Rich Minford and Mike Hoyes stifling the Falcons batters. Minford went 5 ⅓ innings in Game 1, fanning 10 Herts batters whilst allowing only 3 hits and a single earned run. Hoyes continued the Mets starting pitchers’ ownership of the Falcons on Sunday in the clincher, scattering 3 hits in 4 innings of work. Both games finished early due to the 10-Run Mercy Rule, with Tosh Lawson and Brian Lainoff coming in to get the final outs in each game, respectively.
On top of the strong performances from our hurlers, our defense was phenomenal, especially our infield who made difficult plays look easy, exciting the crowd and frustrating the opposition. In game 2 in particular, there was some outstanding defensive play, topped off by an incredible play by Brendan Power to rob Herts of a sure hit up the middle.
“We executed our game plan flawlessly this weekend. The team peaked at exactly the right time, which is really every Manager’s dream” said Manager, Drew Spencer, “There were moments this weekend where I enjoyed watching these boys play the game so much that I forgot I was Managing a Championship game. I’m so proud of how we played. They made my job look easy.”
The Mets offense was also on fire. We scored 27 runs on 28 hits in only 10 innings of work, highlighted by some phenomenal weekend performances from Aidan Pearce and Jonathon Cramman. Pearce, in his first full season in the NBL, went 3 for 5 at the plate with 2BB, 1 Sac Fly, 2RBI and 3R. While Cramman, a seasoned veteran, helped to set the pace with a team leading 5 hits in 8 at bats. Mike Hoyes and Jamie Dix were both also very productive, with Hoyes going 3 for 5 in game 1 with 5 RBI (only missing a triple to hit for the cycle) and Dix driving in 4 runs himself in a 3 for 7 weekend showing.
“Aidan [Pearce] really impressed us all this weekend. Those of us that have been around for a few years know how much of an impact player he has been in youth Baseball, but for him to come to the NBL Final and play the way he did exceeded everyone’s expectations, especially at shortstop. Let’s not forget that he was playing in place of Carlos [Dominguez], arguably the best player in the league and a former pro at that position. That says a lot about the kind of player that Aidan is,” said Cramman.
Finals MVP Rich Minford struck out 10 and batted .500
2nd-year veteran and team captain Rich Minford was named the Finals Most Valuable Player. In addition to Minford’s dominant pitching performance on his way to getting the win in game 1. He also managed to hit .500 with a 1.056 OPS.
Winning the championship has provided a positive ending to a very challenging season for our club. First, we suffered the tragic loss of the former Mets player and close friend Eric Messer. Then, our Captain and one of the most prolific hitters in our club’s history Martin Tucker moved away. And as the season began, we had our 3rd manager in as many seasons.
“This team battled adversity all season long and responded to every challenge we faced. It’s a testament to the commitment that we make to developing talent at all levels in our club that we can fill holes and not lose our stride, “ said Minford (who has recently been named the team’s Captain) “Tuck leaves and we have players right there to step up and fill his shoes. Cramman (2017 NBL Manager) steps down as Manager and Drew steps right in and gets the job done for us. Even this weekend, our starting shortstop (and last year’s Most Valuable Player) Carlos is away for the Finals and Aidan Pearce steps up and puts on a clinic at shortstop. You gotta be feeling pretty good about this club, for many years to come.”
For more information on the London Mets, visit www.londonmets.org