The Weston Jets 2019 season came to a close on Sunday with a 22 – 7 loss to the defending South West Baseball League Champions at Robson Field, a defeat that ended Weston’s slim hopes of reaching the Championship game.
With very heavy rain throughout the game, conditions for both teams were incredibly difficult, but despite that, both sides competed well and played out a hard fought, competitive game.
The first 5 innings were close, with the visiting Spitfires taking an early 3 run lead then retiring the first 3 Jets batters.
Weston stayed in contention though, mainly through some good defensive plays. First baseman Kev Robson and Centre Fielder Lee Sargent both making fine catches, while the Jets Starting Pitcher Marshall Hanney made some good plays to retire a number of the Spitfires players.
Unfortunately for Weston, hits were proving very difficult to come by. Exeter’s Pitcher Mike Osborn, making his first start of the year, put on easily the best pitching performance the Jets had faced all season. Osborn mixed in a great curveball with his blistering fastball that never slowed the whole game. In all he gave up only 6 hits the entire game, while striking out 15 Weston batters in the process.
Trailing by just 5 runs into the sixth inning, Hanney was visibly tiring and Exeter took advantage. Chris Taylor replaced Hanney on the mound to make his pitching debut, and despite doing remarkably well in the wet conditions, by the end of the innings the Spitfires had scored 12 more runs to effectively put the game out of reach of the Jets.
Once again though, like so often this season the Jets refused to roll over and came back strongly scoring 6 runs with contributions from Garry Webb, Nick Hodder and Darren Hines as well as substitute David Coe, while Chris Taylor made two great reaction catches in the final innings.
A comeback proved impossible though and Osborn closed the game out for the Spitfires, finishing as strong as he had started, striking out the final three Weston batters to advance Exeter to the Championship final.
In all, the 2019 season has been a successful one both on and off the field for Weston with the club continuing to grow and expand it’s membership while playing much more competitively and winning it’s most games ever.
“This season has been a mixed one for the Club”, Chairman Kev Robson said after the game. “We have had some great new players join the Club who have contributed enormously over the season. We have been competitive in just about every game this year, we certainly haven’t had any blowout losses like last year. Unfortunately we have had losses in crucial games. If we had beaten the Buccs in our second meeting we would have advanced to the Double A, and our losses to Cardiff and Newton Abbott in the second half of the season stopped us from reaching the Championship Game. It has been a strange quirk of the format this year that we’ve won more games than Cardiff and Bristol and defeated both of those teams twice this season yet they could both be playing in the Championship Game while we have missed out, but that’s life. All in all though we have to look at the positives. Our defence has been massively improved this year and hopefully we will improve our batting also next season”.
MVP: Kev Robson