Liverpool Trojans Baseball Club Est.1946
Two hard fought wins over the A's of Manchester Baseball Club 23 - 5 and 12 - 11, helped the Trojans maintain their lead over Cartmel Valley Baseball Club at the top of the Northern Baseball League and all but guarantees their status as #1 seed going into the end of season playoffs.
Elsewhere, the Twojans earned a split away at Robots of Doom Baseball Club to keep their playoff hopes alive. This match up was a bizarre encounter that saw both teams turn up shorthanded. Read More..
The second game saw the legendary Martin Godsall square off against Jeff Ocenasek as the two starting pitchers who were born in the 1960’s faced each other.
At the top of the first Ocenasek, freshly off the DL from a strain in his lower back muscle, was able to get the first batter to ground out. However, after that Ocenasek tried to be too fine avoiding the middle of the strike zone against the mighty Northern Champs, and ended up walking the next three batters to load the bases. After throwing a wild pitch to give away a run, former original Twojan Paul Colton then got an infield single to bring in another run. Then an error on a ground ball to second brought in another run. Conor Baker-Latham then singled in another run on a line drive to centre. Still trying to find zone, Ocenasek then walked the next batter and hit the following batter before getting the next two batters to ground out to end the inning, despite one more run getting driven in during the process. In the bottom half of the frame, Godsall struck out the first two batters before catcher Scott Gray was able to single to get on board, but Goddy then picked Gray off first to end the inning.
The second inning saw a similar pattern to the first, with Ocenasek walking the first 4 batters, and then striking out the next. The Onejans would make sure they would make Ocenasek pay for the walks. After a passed ball which brought in a run, Godsall helped himself out with a double to bring in two more runs. Paul Mason then singled in another run. Ocenasek was able to limit the damage at that point by getting a strike out and a ground out from the heart of the order. Again, in the bottom of the frame Godsall continued to pitch really well. Despite walking Tom Wrightson to lead off the inning, he struck out the next two batters, and got the last to ground out to end the inning.
At the top of the third, Ocenasek got the leadoff batter in the inning to groundout to start the frame. The next batter got on board on an error on a ground ball to third. After that, yet another groundout got the second out of the inning, which should have been the third to end the inning. Determined to get out of the frame, Ocenasek induced yet another ground ball to third which resulted in yet another error by the third baseman. Godsall then came up and grounded an infield single to the shortstop in the hole, which brought in a run. In an inning of grounders, the next batter grounded out to short to end the inning with the Onejans making the Twojans pay a run for their errors in the field. Again, Godsall would come back to the mound and dominate again by getting the side in order, putting the game at 11-0 in favour of the Onejans.
The fourth inning saw the Onejan bats come alive with a double by Harry Wren, followed by a single by Jairo Brito, a single by Chris Gary as the Onejans added another run. That was followed up by a double by Chris Taggard who took advantage of a shift in the outfield to hit a slider into left. Paul Colton then sacrificed a run in with a fly out, and the following batter grounded out to give Ocenasek two outs. Baker-Latham then singled in a run before the final out popped out to short. In the bottom of the fourth, Godsall came off the mound (for now) to play second as Rick Mills came in to pitch. James Hobson then promptly singled and stole second before Mills struck out the following three batters. The score now stood at 15-0 in favour of the champs.
In the fifth, not wanting to risk reinjuring their veteran starter, the Twojans made a pitching change to bring submariner Liam Harris to the mound. Additionally, they took catcher Scott Gray out to give rookie Jack Scholes his debut as a catcher in just his third game. Harris walked the first batter, but then got the next two batters to ground out. After one more walk Harris got a fly out to end the inning with no damage done in a fine first inning in relief to keep the Twojans hopes alive. At the bottom of the firth, the Twojans would respond to Harris’ strong inning in relief and not go down easy. After Harris lead off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, a pop up got Mills his first out of the inning. Mills then hit the next batter, and then Ken Miles was able to hit in a run on an error by the third baseman. Ed Wrightson then batted in a run on a fielder’s choice for the second out. In an inning that should have been over for Mills, he had to battle on and it was the Twojans turn to make the Onejans pay for an error. James Hobson then doubled to put runners on second and third. The rookie catcher Jack Scholes doubled in two runs, which was followed by a walk to put runners on first and second. Third baseman Chris Pittard then doubled in two more runs which kept the game alive for the Twojans to avoid a mercy. The next batter grounded out but the game went on with the score now 15-6 Onejans.
Harris then answered with another strong inning in relief by striking out the first batter, getting the next to ground out, and then walking two before a line out ended yet another inning with no damage done. Chris Taggart now came into pitch, but after throwing already in game one Taggart had trouble finding the zone and walked three straight batters before Onejan Manager Ian Blease decided to bring Martin Godsall back into the game her started so as to finish it off. Goddy struck out the first batter he faced before the hot hitting former Onejan and original Twojan James Hobson singled in another run. Godsall then responded by striking out the next two batters to kill off the rally he was brought back in to do, with the game at 15-7 and the Twojans still in it.
The seventh and final inning ended the battle though, as Harris lost command and walked the first 3 batters before Taggart was able to bring in a run on a groundout. Harris struck out the next batter to get his second out, but walked the next. The champs would make Harris pay for the walks though, as Baker-Latham would follow up with a single to being in another run. Two more walks would bring in another run, and a single by Blease would bring in yet another. A single by Brito, and a walk would bring in another followed by a double and a walk before Harris retired the side, with the score now at 25-7. Godsall ended up closing out the last two innings of the game where he started the first three, by retiring the side in order to end the game.
Offensive standouts for the Onejans for the game were Chris Taggart who went 2-5 with 5 RBI’s, Conor Baker-Latham who went 3-5, with 4 RBI’s, and Paul Mason who went 1-3 with 3 RBI’s. That was followed by Godsall and Colton with 2 RBI’s, followed by Blease, Gary, and Mills with one RBI each.
For the Twojans, Chris Pittard went 1-4 with 2 RBI’s, Jack Scholes went 1-3 with 2 RBI’s, James Hobson went 3-4, with a stolen base and an RBI, and Ed Wrightson with an RBI.
Godsall took took the win, giving up no runs in 5 innings in starting and relief, striking out 11, and walking 1. Mills went 2 innings giving up 6 runs (0 earned), striking out 3 and walking 1. Chris Taggart went 0.0 innings walking 3.
Ocenasek got the loss going 4 innings, giving up 15 runs (13 earned), with 2 strike outs and 9 walks. Harris went 3 innings in relief, giving up 10 runs (all earned), with 2 strike outs and 10 walks.
Conor Baker-Latham was given the MVP Award for the Trojan Bowl in agreement with Managers Blease, Ocenasek and Harris after the game.
Game Report : Jeff Ocenasek
Photo Credits Helen Baker-Latham