BASEBALL: Storm too strong for Northants Centurions

Action from Northants Centurions' clash with Long Eaton Storm at St Crispin's last Sunday
Action from Northants Centurions' clash with Long Eaton Storm at St Crispin's last Sunday

Northants Centurions finally got their season up and running at the third time of asking - but they were left licking their wounds after a double dose of defeat to Long Eaton Storm.

After their first two fixtures of the season against Birmingham and Stourbridge fell victim to the wet weather, Centurions were delighted to see the sun shine as they hosted Long Eaton at their home ground at St Crispin’s in Duston.

But Storm were strong opposition, and they claimed victories in both games of the double header.

The first game got under way with Matt Ingram on the mound for Northants and Jake Gilliot pitching for Eaton.

Northants scored first at the bottom of the first inning, lead off hitter Aaron Maine’s baserunning taking full advantage of his single to first base.

Sadly for Northants, this would be the only hit that Gilliot would give up all game.

Tight pitching from Ingram and some superlative fielding kept the score to 1-0 until the third inning, when Eaton managed to get two runners over home plate to take a 2-1 lead.

Both teams were still finding trouble scoring, until the sixth inning when the Storm blew the game wide open with three runs at the top of the inning, and then increased their lead to 6-1 in the seventh.

With one last chance to catch the Storm, Northants managed to score through centre fielder Nick Russell, but couldn’t pull off a comeback as they lost 6-2.

Both teams made changes for the second game, which took place after a 20-minute break and followed a similar pattern to the first.

This time around, starting pitchers were Nick Russell for Northants and Matt Need for Long Eaton. Once again, the first man to cross the plate was Northants leadoff hitter Maine, and with pitchers and fielders having the better of hitters, there were no runs in the second inning and the teams traded one run innings in the third, Louis Bojko getting home for Northants.

By this point, Eaton brought in the powerful Marc Tobin to pitch, and, aside from Bojko getting home, it was one-way traffic from here on in.

Eaton scored in each of the remaining innings to finish up 8-2 winners.

This Sunday (May 20), Centurions travel to the Cambridge Royals, before returning St Crispin’s on June 10, when the Stourbridge Tomahawks come to town.

The club are also recruiting for players of all ages and genders, and are running a summer camp from July 25-27.

Youth training takes place on Monday evenings and adult training on Thursdays, all at St Crispin’s.