The Archers showed both sides to their game on Sunday, which turned out to be a roller coaster emotional ride.
The Archers were up against Bracknell Inferno, who had previously swept them earlier in the season. Everyone knew how well the Archers would have to play in order to get the wins.
In game 1 Jamie pitched really well. Defensively the infield was doing its job with plays being made and catches being taken, with sold outfield play as well. The Archers were playing to a really good standard of error-less baseball through all the capped innings. It was playoff standard stuff, and arguably better than the fantastic performance put in against Richmond Dukes the previous week.
The Archers kept in the game against Bracknell’s starting pitcher, who out-played them back in May. This time the Archers unsettled him, worked walks, worked some hits and ran the bases really well. He was pulled in the 5th inning and the Archers continued to hit well against Bracknell’s relief pitcher. Going into the final inning the Archers had an 8 run lead.
However, unfortunately the Archers slipped in the final inning with errors made both infield and outfield, which put them 2 runs behind Bracknell. But it wasn’t over.
Andy got on base and stole 2nd, then Tomi got a hit which bought Andy home. Dave N then hit a deep fly ball which was caught out, but Tomi now at 2nd was caught out in no mans land and subsequently picked off. James made it to 1st base and Joey came into pinch run and got to 2nd on another steal. Jamie then came in with the tying run on 2nd, but a good catch in the outfield meant that it was game over. So close.
Game 1 final score: Essex Archers 17 – 16 Bracknell Inferno
Game 2 saw Bracknell send up their next pitcher which made a mockery of Single A pitching standards. He was good!
Dave N took to the mound and pitched really well for the Archers. Defensively the Archers weren’t as clean as they were for the first 5/6 innings of game 1, but Bracknell's run count was kept low.
The Archers initially found it tough going against Bracknell's hard throwing rightly, but choking up, standing in the back of the batter’s box and with some adjustments, the Archers started to chip away at Bracknell’s lead. After a variety of changes the Archers found themselves back in the game going into the last inning, only 2 runs down after plating a full 5 runs in the last capped inning! The Archers were back in business against arguably the best pitcher they’ve come up against this season.
Alas, the Archers last inning hoodoo came back to bite, and with a few more missed plays and some timely hitting from Bracknell, they saw a number of runs plated and the Archers just weren’t able to respond.
Game 2 final score: Essex Archers 8 – 18 Bracknell Inferno