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)
The Trojans travelled to Shildon on Sunday to take on the Durham Spartans. It was the first ever meeting between the two sides due to the merging of AAA & AA divisions to form this year’s Northern Conference.
The Trojans took a much depleted team along on the journey to the north-east as other commitments limited the travelling squad to just ten players.
The Trojans, as the away side, were first to bat and quickly found themselves in a position to pounce as Harry Wren’s lead-off double was followed up by wayward pitch from Spartans’ Mike Holton that struck Dave Martin Baez between the numbers on his back. There was another wild pitch and the Trojans found themselves with runners on second and third and no outs recorded. The Spartans looked to be on their way out of this tricky situation just a few pitches later though as first Victor Juarez and then Chris Taggart popped out harmlessly to the shortstop. Now with two outs on the board, Ian Blease was next up, and he delivered a 2 RBI single to give the Trojans an early lead that they would never relinquish.
Pitching for the Trojans, fresh from his no-no last week against Oldham, was Trojans’ Ace Garfield Xu. It was apparent from early on that Xu didn’t have the same “stuff” as the previous week. A lead-off walk was given up to Ian Porley who then stole second and third as the Spartans threatened to answer back quickly. Wren managed to throw Porley out at the plate as Estil Peniche grounded into a fielder’s choice. By the time Xu struck out Warrilow to end the inning he seemed to have regained his composure and was once again dominating from the hill.
The Trojans added another in top of the second after Matty Waddington scored on an error brought on by Martin Baez’s grounder to short.
The bottom half of the inning was a bit of a flashback to last week as Xu retired the side in order and sent his team out to do some more damage with the bats.
Chris Taggart led off the inning and promptly dispatched the first pitch he was thrown about forty feet over the right-field fence for the first home run of the day. More runs would follow as Chris Gary and Martin Godsall would score on Waddington’s double. Waddington was then driven in by Wren’s single to left. The Trojans weren’t done just yet though as Martin Baez’s double brought in Wren and Xu, and Juarez’s two run homer saw both he and Martin Baez score to complete the scoring for that inning.
It was three up, three down again for the Spartans in the bottom of the third as Xu really looked to have found his rhythm.
Three more runs were added in the top of the fourth as Wren scored on Martin Baez’s single to first base and was himself brought home on Victor Juarez’s second home run in as many innings. It would be fair to suggest that the left field fence at the Shildon ground was shallow, but this shot was longest of the day as it cleared the fence by quite some distance.
At this stage of proceedings Xu had now pitched over ten innings without giving up a run and that streak had to come to an end at some point. Mike Holton’s single got things started for the Spartans before a series walks and a hit by pitch followed to allow him to score. The Spartans continued to walk freely and soon had more runs on the board. Xu’s confidence seemed to have escaped him and so he was replaced on the mound by Chris Taggart. Taggart, perhaps not fully warmed up yet, also struggled with control and afforded another hit by pitch and a couple of walks as the runs continued to flow for the Spartans. By the time the inning was over the gap had been reduced to 14-6.
With the two hour time limit encroaching it became clear that, regardless of the scoreline, the fifth would be the final inning of the day. Blease’s lead-off walk was followed by a single for Gary and he would then score on Godsall’s hit. Matty Waddington then hit his first ever home run to plate three runs. Wren reached on an error which allowed him to make second base, he would then score on some sharp running following Martin Baez’s groundout.
The Spartans did manage to claw one run back in the bottom half of the inning but were ultimately soundly defeated by 19 runs to 7.