Baseball returned to the South West this week with the first round of fixtures in the South West Baseball League. The sport continues to grow and this season sees 3 new teams from Yeovil, Bristol and Cardiff entering the league, joining Weston, Bristol, Taunton, Newton Abbot, Plymouth and Truro competing to dethrone defending Champions Exeter.
On a bitterly cold spring morning the Weston Jets travelled to Bristol to face the Bristol Bats. With 4 players making their debuts for the Jets it was a new look Weston team that looked to improve against the team that inflicted Weston’s heaviest loss in 2018.
Last years Most Valuable Player Daniel Kirby-James got the Jets first run of 2019 in the first inning but Bristol took advantage of a dropped catch to pull into an early 7-1 lead. New Jets starting pitcher Marshall Hanney however looked calm and assured, walking only 1 Bristol Batter the entire game but experienced fielding prevented Weston from getting more runs on the board and gradually Bristol extended their lead.
In the 6th inning Kirby-James singled to left field then advanced to 3rd on a botched Bristol attempted run down, scoring for the Jets when 3rd Baseman Nick Hodder brought him home with a single.
The highlight of the game however was saved to the last inning when substitute Dave Hepworth facing his first ever pitch, crushed the ball deep over the left field fence for an amazing home run.
The final score was Bristol 23 Weston 3, but the Jets look to have made big improvements from last year and with 3 first choice players missing, this season looks full of promise and baseball looks set to continue to grow in Weston and the South West.
Elsewhere in the SWBL Bristol Buccaneers beat Cardiff Merlins 15-11 and Plymouth Mariners defeated Yeovil Whirlwinds 23-3. Next up for Weston is a home game against Cardiff on April 28th at Robson Field, Hutton Moor, first pitch at 12 noon.
MVP: Dan Kirby-James