Liverpool Trojans Baseball Club Est.1946
"In the beginning of British Baseball, God created the Trojans, and all was good. Over the years and many championships God decided the Trojans needed to grow, so a second Trojan team was created and all was good. Then there was confusion, as there was only one team, yet in different ballparks at the same time, so the name Twojans was born. This in turn confused the Twojans, not knowing what to call their team mates and their style of play. Seeing their style of play and behaviour on the field, the Twojans started saying Onejan behaviour, and the name was born. The rest was history: No matter how many teams grew in the Trojan Baseball club, were to be only Trojans....Onejans, Twojans and all"
- The Book of Trojans (Genesis 1.1)
Game One: Hull Scorpions 5 Liverpool Trojans 9
On the hill for the Trojans was the ever-reliable arm of Martin Godsall. The veteran ace, as is so often the case in these reports, set to work quickly and, despite Chris Marshall and Dom Rawlins reaching base on consecutive errors, the Scorpions were retired without scoring when Brooke grounded out to Trojans second baseman, Connor Baker-Latham.
Starting the game for the Scorpions was Phil Wells. His first pitch was wild and hit Trojans leadoff hitter, Harry Wren, to put him on first. Paul Mason’s single would follow. Wells was able to get two outs on the board when Rick Mills’ fly-out to centre was followed by Ricky Brito grounding into a fielder’s choice that would see Mason out on the force at second. With runners on the corners, Wells was looking to escape without any damage to the scoreboard.
Ian Blease would draw a five-pitch walk that would bring shortstop Victor Juarez to the plate. Juarez dispatched the first he saw to the gap and right-centre and the Trojans had two runs on the board. Baker-Latham would follow with an infield single that scored Blease. He would also move over to second on an error on the throw by Andy Wiltshire. Godsall would drive in two more on his single to left. The Trojans now had five on the board. Matty Waddington would also single, and Wren walk to load the bases for Mason. Mason would strike out, but the Trojans now had a substantial lead for one of the most consistent pitchers in British Baseball history to protect.
In the top of the second inning, a bizarre yet brilliant play from Victor Juarez would kick things off for the Trojans. Simon Radge’s hard hit groundball to third proved too hot for Wren to handle as the ball ricocheted off his glove, only for the ball to drop kindly to Juarez at short who had time to sharply make the play at the first base. A stunning play! Godsall would then strikeout Goldie and Jeffrey to retire the side in order and end the inning.
The Trojans weren’t able to add to their tally in the bottom half of the inning, stranding Mills and Blease on base.
Hull would come storming back in the top of the third though. First, Simpson singled. Wells’ bloop into right-centre would put runners on first and second before an error at shortstop would allow the first Scorpion run of the game to score. Rawlins’ followed up with a line drive to centre to score another, and another would score on the overthrow to the plate. Wiltshire’s groundout would score Rawlins and the score gap was down to just one run. Godsall would then force outs from the next two hitters to end the inning and escape with his lead intact.
The bottom half of the inning again saw Godsall aid his cause with another single, before he stole second and was moved over to third on Waddington’s groundout. Wren’s double would drive in Godsall, before he scored on a wild pitch to stretch the lead out to 7-4. Mills and Brito would both strikeout to retire the side.
Godsall came back strong in the top of the fourth picking up two strikeouts, before catcher Paul Mason threw out Goldie on his attempted steal at second to end the inning.
By now Wells was really struggling for control and despite getting Blease called out at first on a contested call, he would give up another single to Juarez before walking four consecutive hitters allowing two more runs to score. The Trojans would now lead 9-4.
The Scorpions would draw another blank in the next frame, stranding two runners. However, the Trojans couldn’t improve their own score in latter half of the inning.
Godsall retired the side in order in the top of the sixth, picking up two strikeouts along the way. However, again the Trojans failed to extend their lead. The Scorpions’ shortstop Andy Wiltshire narrowly missed out on an incredible triple play, after making an impressive diving catch to his left; he was able to get to his feet in time to force out Godsall on second and seemingly had Waddington at his mercy as he scampered back towards first. Sadly, Wiltshire inexplicably dropped the ball before he could throw and Waddington was safe. Attempting to make the most of his luck, after advancing to second on a wild pitch, Waddington would attempt to steal third on the same play. He was comfortably out and the Scorpions would have one last chance.
Despite Wells’ again reaching base and eventually scoring on Rawlins’ deep sacrifice fly to right field, the Scorpions couldn’t muster up the recovery they needed and the Trojans ran out victors by a score of 9-5.
Martin Godsall picked up the win for the Trojans; he pitched seven innings, giving up seven hits, five runs (two earned) and eleven strikeouts. For the second start in a row, he didn’t give up a single walk, continuing to defy his years through sheer dedication and determination.
Game Report: Ian Blease