by Michael Benton, www.namur-angels.be
Latta K’s 19 in Shutout
Justin Latta was superb for the Angels on Saturday (20.08.2011) as the Angels defeated the Merksem Royal Greys by a score of 3-0. This game marked the beginning of the third week of the Belgian League playoffs and with the win the Angels moved up into second place, trailing only the Hoboken Pioneers.
Pitching certainly had the upper hand in this game as two American starters dueled against each other, allowing a total of only 4 hits all game long. Merksem starter, Maxwell Brittenham, pitched 7 good innings, striking out 6 and only allowing just 1 hit, 4 walks and he had five, 1-2-3 innings. He was tagged for 3 runs in the fourth, however, when he walked Vincent King and Nicholas Frederick to start the inning, and then with two outs the defense made two costly errors behind him to allow three runs to score.
While Brittenham was good, he couldn’t match Latta who pitched his best game of the year despite dealing with minor flu-like symptoms. Latta was a little wild the first few innings as he worked deep into counts and walked a batter in each of the first, second, and third innings but also managed to get three huge strikeouts with runners in scoring position, two of them with the bases loaded in the 3rd inning. After that he was in complete control on the mound. In the 4th inning, Latta struck out the side and needed only 10 pitches to do so. He continued to strike out two batters an inning in each of the final 5 frames to set a Namur Angels record with 19 total strikeouts. Latta’s final line was 9 innings, 3 hits, 4 walks, 0 runs and 19 K’s to push the Angels ahead of Mersem in the standings.
Cedric Nauts had the only hit of the game for the Angels, a double to lead off the fifth inning, and Vincent King, Nicholas Frederick, and Jerome Sana each scored a run. The Angels will be back at it again against the Merksem Royal Greys on Sunday (21.08.2011).
Angels Sweep Greys with 7-4 Win
The Angels finished their two-game series against the Merksem Royal Greys on Sunday (21.08.2011) with a sweep. A day after these same two teams earned a total of 4 hits in an entire game, they combined for 26 total hits, 16 of them coming from the Angels. The win extended the Angels lead of second place and pushed them a game closer to first place in the 2011 Belgian League playoffs.
Vincent King had a great game offensively as he started of the game with hits in each of his first four at-bats and finished just a triple short of the cycle. After the Angels put up their first run in the second inning when Cedric Nauts drove in Jerome Sana with an RBI single, Vincent King and Nicholas Frederick hit back-to-back homers to lead off the third. It was King’s second homerun of these playoffs. Michael Benton added a two runs with his single in the 5th after Angel Williams Rosario bunted two runners into scoring position. Rosario also added an RBI single in the 7th as the Angels jumped out to a 7-1 lead that they would not give up.
Cedric Desmedt got the start for the Angels and pitched a strong 8 innings to earn the win, allowing 4 runs, 3 of them earned. After allowing an unearned run in the 3rd, the Greys loaded the bases against Desmedt but he was able to get out of trouble without any more damage done. The Greys did tag him for 3 runs in the 7th inning but by that point the game was out of reach for them. Desmedt finished allowing 10 hits and 5 walks with 5 strikeouts, 4 of which came in his final two innings of work. Nicolas Migeot pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn the save, his second of the playoffs.
King finished with the best game for the Angels, going 4-5, while Frederick had 3 hits and Rosario, Benton and Nauts added two hits each. The Angels restart their cycle of the playoffs as they take on Hoboken again next Saturday and Sunday (27.08.11, 28.08.11) in a rematch of the first weekend of playoff action in which the Pioneers took 2 games from the Angels.