UPSU Shafters provided the opposition for the Falcons’ first home match of the season at Oaklands Park.
Following a successful pre-season recruitment campaign, captain Dave Morris was able to put two debutants straight into the infield and the Falcons proceeded to shut the Shafters out for the first three innings while putting four runs up themselves to take an early lead.
Pitcher Jason Mercer pounded the strike zone and struck out six batters in total while second baseman Jason Mitchell teamed up with the excellent Carrie Suhr at first to throw out any Shafters runners.
Singles from Clive Janes, Emma Brown and Sam McGann kept the Falcons ahead through the fourth, but a staggering running catch from outfielder Lucy Morris and a textbook grab from a high looping flyball by catcher Kelly Mikulla sealed the game.
The Shafters were resilient in defence with a jaw-dropping catch in left field by Stefan Rudeforth and superb fielding at second base, but there was still time for one more Falcons run from Matt Tebb in the sixth, leaving the Chichester side with a deserved 7-3 victory.
The following day saw the Falcons travel to Portsmouth to take on the Baffins Brewers. Again the rookies were the stars of the show as another three debutants took the field and did not disappoint.
Five runs went on the board in the first, with base hits from Klare Cosins on her first ever at-bat, Michael Owen and MVP first baseman Lucy Morris.
Jason Mercer picked up where he left off the night before, battling against the elements and a tighter strike zone, but nevertheless took a good foothold on the Brewers offence early in the game, rattling their batters with his fast, low curveball. Mercer excelled at bat too, tripling and scoring in the third thanks to an RBI single from Kelly Mikulla.
Rookie outfielder Alice Jennings was unlucky to see her colossal flyball smacked to left field but caught by the Brewers’ Will Taylor, but rightfielder Georgie Kelbie and shortstop Dave Morris added to the Brewers’ misery in the fourth, bringing the score to 8-4.
The Falcons saved the best for the final innings, crucially adding a further five runs thanks to hits from Ben Sawkins, Emma Burfoot and a three-run homer laced to right field by Dave Piesse.
The Brewers put two runs up in the bottom of the seventh but the Falcons went home happy with an emphatic 13-6 win.
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