Game ReportsPosted by admin Tue, June 19, 2018 07:46:28
The Leicester Blue Sox junior baseball programme is looking
in good health following both national and international success this month.
Last weekend, the Leicester ‘Little Sox’ u11 team became the
UK Coach Pitch Champions for the first time in their four-year history. The
tournament held at the Farnham Park National Baseball Centre near Slough
featured three other strong teams from London, Brighton and Hemel Hempstead.
The round-robin tournament meant that the eventual champions would need to win
all three of their games on the day and that is exactly what the Little Sox
It wasn’t plain sailing in the first game against London
Sports, as Leicester quickly found themselves 5-0 behind and their tournament
ambitions on the rocks.
However an amazing comeback appeared to be on the cards at
the top of the third inning when Shannon Browne got things started with the
team’s first RBI of the game; three more runs then crossed the plate to make it
a one run ball game. In the bottom of the third, Little Sox shortstop Connor
Young achieved the incredible feat of getting three London players out in
one-move - an unassisted ‘triple play’ to huge cheers from the supporters.
Four more runs came across the plate for Leicester in the
top of the final inning, including a home run for Elijah Webster, this gave
Little Sox a 8-5 lead to hold onto in the bottom of the final frame.
London Sports battled to the very last, scoring a
consolation run with bases loaded but it wasn’t enough to stop the Leicester
revival. Little Sox finished the first game 8-6 with their tails up. The
momentum created then carried them forward through for the rest of the tournament.
Leicester’s bats didn’t stay silent for long against Brighton
Fireballs in game 2. The Little Sox took an early 3-0 lead and remained ahead,
thanks to superior hitting by all the team and strong infield defence from
pitcher fielder Wyatt Bryson and first baseman Arnav Rai, who combined to get
12 of the game's 15 outs over 5 innings. Leicester rode out 12-3 winners knowing that
they were just one win away from becoming National Champions.
Game 3 against Herts All-Stars was similar with Little Sox
hitting well up and down the entire batting order. Bryson, Rai and Young again
were superb in the infield limiting the impact of Herts strong batting.
Leicester took the game 11-3 and with that became deserved Champions.
Earlier this month, Bryson, Rai and their Little Sox team
mates Reuben Crawshaw and Megan Rollins achieved even more success playing for
the United Kingdom u10 team at the European SuperCup tournament in Prague. Team
UK won another trophy, this time the third-tier Blue Cup championship after
defeating strong Czech outfit Olympia Blansko 8-5 in their final. In the
individual skills contest Rai won the silver medal in the throwing discipline.
Matt Crawshaw who coaches both the Little Sox and manages
the Team UK programme said “It has been an amazing month of baseball for our
talented young players here in Leicester. Team UK put in a much-improved
performance at the SuperCup, which continues to move us up the European
rankings. Then a first-ever National title for the Little Sox has been the
icing on the cake. The future for baseball in our city looks incredibly
Game ReportsPosted by admin Tue, September 19, 2017 16:47:17
SUNDAY 17 SEPTEMBER
Three excellent and dramatic finals were played
today at Farnham Park as National Champions for 2017 were crowned in the
British Baseball Federation’s Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A divisions.
The first game to get under way, at 11.00 am on a cool and cloudy
morning, was the Double-A final between the Leicester Blue Sox and Tonbridge,
both teams that had won the Single-A National Championship in recent seasons.
This turned out to be a tense and well-pitched game that was in doubt until
Leicester scored four runs in a bizarre top of the ninth inning to turn a 5-4
lead into a much more comfortable 9-4 advantage. It’s not often that one player
can be said to win a baseball game single-handed, but in this case the evidence
was pretty clear. Read the report below to find out why the MVP award could
only have gone to Leicester’s Rikson Martina.
DOUBLE-A CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
Leicester Blue Sox 9,
This final was in doubt until Leicester pulled away
in what became a nightmare top of the ninth inning for Tonbridge, but in truth,
this game was the Rikson Martina show.
The mercurial Leicester star, who was a live-wire
catcher in Saturday’s semi-final win over the Latin Boys, took the mound in
this game and threw the full nine innings and 139 pitches, giving up only three
hits and five walks while striking out five. Tonbridge had baserunners in seven
of the nine innings, but Martina used his curve ball to good effect and got 13
infield ground outs.
“I didn’t want to go more than 140 pitches,”
Martina said after the game. “And I beat it by one!”
But that was only half of Martina’s contribution;
the rest came with the bat.
Martina had four hits in five trips to the plate,
including a triple, a double and three RBIs, plus two stolen bases and two runs
If Tonbridge never see Rikson Martina again, it
will probably be too soon.
Neither side scored during the first three innings,
and to begin with, it was Tonbridge starter Cristian Secareanu who held down
the Blue Sox. But Secareanu had pitched the full game during Tonbridge’s
semi-final win on Saturday, and he left the mound with one out in the Leicester
third inning, replaced by Sorin Puiu.
Puiu finished off the third inning without
difficulty, but ran into trouble in the top of the fourth as Leicester opened
the scoring with three runs. Rikson Martina’s triple was the big blow, but
three Tonbridge errors helped the Blue Sox cause.
Leicester stretched the lead to 4-0 with a run in
the top of the fifth inning. Rob Seward singled, stole second, and came in,
inedvitably, on Rikson Martina’s double.
But in the bottom of the fifth the Tonbridge
offense finally got going and cut the deficit to 4-3 on singles by Matt Styles
and Laurence Hodgkins plus two Leicester errors.
Over the next three eventful innings, each team had
plenty of chances but could only add one run each, and so Leicester held a
slender 5-4 lead when they came to bat in the top of the ninth inning, knowing
that Tonbridge would have the final turn at the plate.
But everything that could go wrong for Tonbridge
did so in a long and painful half-inning. Leicester had three hits, and none of
them left the infield. Sorin Puiu committed a balk that sparked a long argument
that got Tonbridge Manager Amanda Murphy ejected. There was also a hit-by-pitch
and a throwing error by Puiu when he had a Leicester runner dead to rights
between second and third. The result of all this mayhem was four big runs for
Leicester that took the wind out of the Tonbridge sails.
A tiring – and no wonder – Rikson Martina walked
pinch-hitter Gen Edwards to open the bottom of the ninth inning, and Ben Carter
followed with a single. But Leicester’s good fortune continued. Laurence Hodgkins
hit a soft liner to Giedrius Janulevicius at third, and even though
Janulevicius threw the ball into right field trying to double off Gen Edwards,
Leicester got the out anyway when the ball was returned because Edwards had
never tagged up.
When Martin Barker hit a one-hopper back to
Martina, Rikson held the ball for a second in silent celebration, then fired to
first to end the game and cue the real celebrations, with Leicester players
forming a mass on the mound.
“We definitely played to our strengths,” Leicester
Manager Alan Edington said afterwards, “and micro-managing the players today
gave them the freedom to do this. Cool heads prevailed – at least most of the
time! And Rikson Martina telling me he wanted to pitch the whole game made
things easier – I just had to let him do it!”
SATURDAY 16 SEPTEMBER
Semi-final games in the BBF’s Single-A, Double-A
and Triple-A National Championships started at 9.30 this morning and finished
in the cold, dark and damp, well after 7.00 pm. But we now know who will play
the finals on Sunday.
Six semi-finals were played on the two baseball
diamonds at Farnham Park today in weather which was mostly cold and cloudy, but
with a few fleeting glimpses of the sun and one short but vicious rain and
hailstorm -- weather more suited to March than mid-September.
Leicester Blue Sox 17,
Latin Boys 3 (7 innings)
The Latin Boys probably came into this game as
favourites, and at the end of three innings they only trailed 3-2.
The threat of a big inning by Leicester in the top
of the third was averted when the Latin Boys brought in Yefri Aguilar to
replace starter Alex Lopez with one out and the bases loaded, and Aguilar
struck out Scott McMillan and Chris Mee to end the threat.
But that was really the end of the road for the
Latin Boys, as Leicester scored six runs in the top of the fourth inning and
steadily pulled away for a mercy rule win after seven innings, scoring three
more in the top of the fifth, two in the sixth and a final three in the
Catcher Rik Martina had a single, a double and
three walks for Leicester while Rob Seward and Andy Davidson each had three
But the main reason for Leicester’s unexpectedly
easy win was pitcher Justinas Raupenas, who pitched the full seven innings,
struck out 13 Latin Boys and gave up only four hits and four walks. The Latin
Boys had at least one baserunner in every inning but the sixth, but Raupenas
came up with big pitches when he needed them, ending five of the seven innings
Long before the end, it was clear that the Blue Sox
would be at Farnham Park on Sunday.
Game ReportsPosted by admin Tue, September 05, 2017 20:00:41
The stage was set for the BBF Double-A quarter-final between Leicester Blue Sox and Long Eaton Storm on Sunday just gone.
The magnitude and importance was felt across both squads leading
up to first pitch, with signs of rain sure to fall.
A solid start to the game was made by the Sox,
with Long Eaton falling behind by four runs coming up to the
mid-way point of the game. Justas Raupenas was in control of the game at this stage but could the Storm battle back?
In the latter stages of the game, the pressure was starting to tell and nerves were beginning to mount in the Leicester dugout as Long Eaton clawed their way back into the game.
With the rain now in full flow, Blue Sox went into the bottom of the last inning holding onto a 9-5 lead.
Two more runs crossed the plate but Martin Andrews turned the screw on Long Eaton with a vital outfield catch for the second out of the inning and Raupenas held his nerve to strike out the last batter to secure 9-7 win for the Light Blues.
The Sox march onto Farnham Park on the weekend of the 16/17 September for the 2017 Double-A National Baseball Championships. First up on the Saturday is a semi-final encounter against the top seed from the south. Based on current standings that could mean the East London Latin Boys although they need to overcome their own quarter-final playoff this weekend.
With the final set for the Sunday 17 September, Leicester are theoretically two wins away from securing their third National Championship in eight seasons and they will relish going into these finals as underdogs.
Still a lot of baseball to go!
Photo: Julia Upton @JulesU13
Report: Rob Seward
Game ReportsPosted by admin Sat, October 15, 2016 18:54:49
Leicester Blue Sox celebrated their 10th
Anniversary in style on Saturday 1 October with day and night events toasting a
decade of success at the club.
The club began its festivities at our spiritual home, the
Western Park diamond, with a specially-arranged game between our current
first-team and a ‘Legends’ ensemble featuring past stars of the Blue Sox as
well as current players who have suited up for Leicester over many of our past
Shortly after the game started, storm clouds gathered but
the resulting rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of either side that kept going
for four innings before the game was eventually called due to the weather. The
games' highlight moment was a fantastic home-run from the Legends’ Cory
Shackleton – his first-ever in Blue Sox colours.
Our squads on the day were:
Blue Sox first-team (l-r)
Legends team (l-r)
and club-founder Mark Meredith
The game was also notable for the introduction of two new
baseball players that have moved to Leicester from China to study, Toby Xu and
Both sides played in great spirits, which set the day up nicely for the evening celebrations that followed later in the day.
The club would like to thank all who braved the wet conditions
to play, as well as our loyal supporters who have been right behind the Blue
Sox all season long, whatever the weather!
All photos by Julia Upton
Game ReportsPosted by admin Mon, September 05, 2016 17:58:34
Leicester Blue Sox concluded their 10th anniversary season, bowing out at the quarter-final stages of the playoffs against the strongly fancied Daws Hill Spitfires.
The game was played in glorious conditions on Bank Holiday Monday at the Farnham Park National Baseball complex near Slough.
Leicester's manager Alan Edgington banked on his Lithuanian pitching duo of Sigitas Juskenas and Justinas Raupenas, but things didn't go according to plan immediately into the first inning.
Juskenas struggled to find the strike zone and was replaced by Raupenas following a succession of walks and five runs coming across the plate.
The game steadied in the subsequent innings but the damage was already done and it was always going to be difficult for the Blue Sox to get a foothold in the game.
There was a moment of brightness in the third when Dave Burke singled to bring Joel Upton home but that was to be only run scored in a game that concluded with a 12-1 win for the Spitfires.
Daws Hill have been very strong all season and took the BBF Double-A championship the following weekend beating Sheffield Bladerunners 10-0 in the final, which perhaps put the Blue Sox result into perspective.
The club now look forward to celebrating their 10th Anniversary on Saturday 1 October, with a Blue Sox Legends game during the day at Western Park and the 2016 awards event at Goals Soccer Centre during the evening.
Game ReportsPosted by admin Tue, August 23, 2016 15:02:59
Leicester Blue Sox have progressed to the quarter-final
stage of the BBF Double-A playoffs following an emphatic victory over their
local rivals Nottingham Rebels last Sunday.
Pitcher Justinas Raupenas got the start for Leicester, but
ran into early trouble allowing a couple of runs to cross the plate for the
Rebels in the first inning.
In reply, the Blue Sox bats cranked up the pressure on
Nottingham when a colossal ten runs were scored. Hits were achieved up and down
the Leicester line-up as they piled on the pressure from the start.
Raupenas then found his groove for the remainder of the
game, giving up only one more run in the fifth inning before the contest was over two innings later, with the Blue Sox cruising to a 16-3 victory.
Leicester now travel to the National baseball complex at
Farnham Park in Buckinghamshire for a tough encounter against number one seed Daws
The quarter-final takes place at midday on Bank Holiday
Monday, with the winners progressing to the National semi-final and finals event
being held the following weekend.
Photos by Julia Upton
Game ReportsPosted by admin Mon, July 04, 2016 20:54:00
Leicester Blue Sox have climbed the
table to second place, courtesy of two wins over Long Eaton at the weekend.
In game one Justenas Raupenas pitched a
gem, keeping the Storm’s bats quiet for long periods. In support, Dave Burke
found form for the Sox with an RBI double in the first inning that brought home
Rik Martina as well as bringing in three more runs in the sixth inning courtesy
of a two-out bases-loaded double to centre-field.
The main highlight from Long Eaton was
Oscar Martinez’s two-run homer late in the game, but it wasn’t enough for them
to avoid a 9-3 defeat at the finish.
Sigitas Juskensas took to the mound for
the Blue Sox in game two but found himself in early trouble, giving up three
hits in the first inning including a double from Virgil Garcia. Thankfully
Leicester tied it up at the bottom of the first inning.
The remainder of the game continued to
see-saw in a similar fashion with both teams committing repeated fielding
errors, which saw the score-line clock-up considerably.
Juskensas showed great composure in an
unsettled game, striking out six Long Eaton batters, which proved to be the
difference between the sides, as the Blue Sox completed a win-double over the
Storm with a 16-10 victory.
In doing so, the Sox elevated from fifth position
to second in the BBF Central Division and back in the playoff hunt.
This weekend, there is no baseball action as Leicester Blue Sox will be guests at this Saturday’s Western Park Festival.
Leicester resume their playoff push the
following Sunday (17 July) with a home double-header against Milton Keynes Bucks,
who are breathing down the necks of the Blue Sox in third place.
Rik Martina avoids the tag and slides into score.
credit: Rob Campion
Game ReportsPosted by admin Fri, April 22, 2016 09:24:28
Leicester Blue Sox got their Double-A Central Division season off to the best of starts with an emphatic 11-1 win against Long Eaton Storm at Western Park.
A tougher encounter was expected, as Long Eaton had remained unbeaten all the way through last season.
But, this time around, they were put to the sword at the first time of asking.
New Blue Sox manager Alan Edgington selected his predecessor, Dennis Grogan, as his starting pitcher.
Grogan threw a complete game and only gave up two hits over seven innings.
Leicester's hitting was phenomenal, and included doubles from Ron Mason and Rikson Martina, as well as a blistering two-run hit from Sebastien Stafford.
Grogan also weighed in big at the plate, batting in a total of four runs over his four at bats.
Edgington said: "Although Dennis dominated on the mound and with his bat, it was a complete team performance from the guys all the way through the batting line-up and in defence.
"This bodes really well for the season."
Leicester's 10th anniversary year continues this weekend, with an away match at Stourbridge Titans this Sunday 24 April.
Rob Campion Website Twitter