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Mets Walk-off Bruins in Season Opener


8 Apr 2024

Reigning National Baseball League champions London Mets opened their 2024 league season against Sheffield Bruins in Enfield with a walkoff 3-2 victory.

London Mets last played Sheffield Bruins in the 2023 playoff semi-final and defeated them 11-0 on their way to winning their their seventh consecutive NBL title in 2023 making them clear favourites when Bruins travelled to London for their league opener.

Sheffield Bruins made it tough for the reigning champions in the first game of their title-defending season with the scores tied 2-2 heading into the last inning. The leadoff hitter at the bottom of the seventh inning, Rich Minford, walked to first base and advanced to second via a Jamie Dix single to left centre. Second baseman Angel Tejeda’s single to left centre was enough to drive in Minford to score the winning run for the Mets.

In this low-scoring affair, both teams’ pitchers performed well, allowing opponents only two scoring innings out of a possible seven.

London Mets pitcher Ryan McLaughlin was the standout pitcher of the day. He only allowed two hits and no earned runs in a total of five innings pitched. McLaughlin threw 50 strikes in 70 pitches and struck out six Bruins batters. Sheffield Bruins relief pitcher Keanu Stoltz struck out one more than McLaughlin for the most whiffs of any pitcher in the game. Stoltz pitched five and one-third innings, throwing 101 pitches, with 58 of them being strikes. He allowed only one run from four hits.

Despite the defeat, Bruins manager Charlie Batho praised his team’s effort: “It was an incredible performance today despite the less than ideal planning and preparation.

“Gutted for the group to not walk away with a deserved win, but there are plenty of positives to take into week two.”

The Mets’ Ryan McLaughlin knows there is work to be done if the team is defend its title.

“Despite a slow start offensively, we found a way to hang on for the win behind solid pitching and defense,” he said. “It’s early in the season so there’s going to be an adjustment period, but we expect to play much sharper baseball in two weeks when we face off against Vetra.”

Sheffield Bruins will once again make the trip down to London next Sunday to face the London Capitals in their home season opener, whilst the London Mets enjoy an extra week’s break before they play host to BC Vetra.

An extract from BBF weekly round-up. To read the full article please click here:

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