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Redbacks get ready to rock after maiden win

By Essex Chronicle  |  Posted: April 18, 2013

PITCHING UP: Arno Hardeveld pitches for the Redbacks' maiden win in the NBL (Picture:  Vince Warner)

PITCHING UP: Arno Hardeveld pitches for the Redbacks' maiden win in the NBL (Picture: Vince Warner)

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FOLLOWING two defeats on opening day, the Redbacks and South London Pirates were eager to get on the board in their double header. Both sides took one victory, but the Redbacks were most impressive given their inexperience at this level.

The Pirates were national champions in 2004 and 2005, and have been around since 1982, while Redbacks Baseball and Softball was only established in 2009.

Stuart Harper-Horn, Matt Jennings and Rob Yuille set the base paths alight with timely hits and great running, but after two innings the host Pirates were 6-5 ahead.

After scoring eight times in five innings, the Redbacks held a four-run advantage going into the final frame. Sean Briscomb replaced Hardeveld and although he allowed two runs, he was strong enough to close out the win for the Redbacks.

Game two was a slightly different affair. After the early innings of the first game, a pitchers' duel opened up between the Pirates' Tim Ssali and the Redbacks' John Read.

Ssali hurled a complete game, and although he gave up five hits to the dangerous Redbacks batting line-up, they couldn't string them together and went down having only scored twice.

In contrast, the Pirates made the most of the opportunities, plating six times against Read and twice more against reliever Sean Briscomb, to record their first win of the 2013 campaign.

After the games Vince Warner reflected: "It was fantastic to get our first ever win in the National Baseball League (NBL) at the weekend. Arno and Sean pitched brilliantly and we've gained huge experience already.

"Hopefully, the win and the momentum will see us cause some real shocks this season, starting against the Arrows next weekend."

Next weekend, things get even more serious for the Redbacks as it's against the club's cross-county rivals, the Essex Arrows.

Both clubs have a friendly relationship, but it'll be put to the test in both games on April 21 at the Arrow's Town Mead Leisure Centre (Pitch off 12pm).

The Redbacks' second team start their campaign in the Single A South division on Sunday too, hosting the Old Timers of Enfield at Forest Glade, Billericay. (Start time 12pm)

Elsewhere, the Redbacks took part in the Brentwood Games, showcasing the club's sports to enthusiastic players, and they were boosted by help from Mike Jennings, (British Softball Federation committee member and International Softball Federation representative), and David Hurley, (Chair of Baseball Softball UK's Youth Panel).

Coaches from the club were on hand for the hundreds of youngsters and adults who wanted to find out more about baseball and softball in Essex.

The Redbacks' junior training starts again at Forest Glade, Billericay from April 17 (5.30pm-dusk). Redbacks softball sessions start in early June, on Tuesday nights (6pm-dusk) at Forest Glade and Sunday 4pm at Melbourne Park, Chelmsford.

Senior training takes place for aged 16 and over on Thursday nights at Melbourne Park, Chelmsford, (6pm-dusk).

For more information about Redbacks Baseball and Softball, including playing, volunteering, officiating or sponsorship opportunities, contact club secretary Sean Briscomb at sean@essex redbacks.com or visit website www.essexredbacks.com

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