GB Men make progress in placing playoffs

Sat 15 Jul 2017

By Ian Tomlin

Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada: 15 July -- A confident display with the bats gave the GB Men’s Fastpitch Team an 8-1 five-inning mercy rule win over World Championship newcomers India on Friday to advance to the second stage of the placing playoffs at the 2017 Men’s World Championship.

GB will now meet Denmark later today, and if the GB Team can keep winning, they can keep playing, with a placing playoff final, to determine ninth place, scheduled for Sunday.

The GB Men, who have struggled for hits and runs during the tournament, scored in every inning in this five-inning game except the third, and had seven hits against India’s Kumar Deepak, who also surrendered four walks in pitching a complete game.

GB’s World Championship rookies have all played their part in the tournament, but it was Tom Priscott, with a hard line drive single to right centre field in the bottom of the fifth inning, who brought home the game-ending run.

Good start​

Despite carrying an injury sustained and then aggravated earlier in the tournament, Kyle Linton started for Great Britain and pitched the first two innings, giving up no hits and one walk.

James Darby then pitched the last three frames, and gave up one hit, four walks and India’s only run.

India went down in order in the top of the first inning, and then GB came in and put three runs on the board.

James Darby reached on an error and Kevin Stockford worked the count full before lining a single to centre field to put runners on first and second – who shortly advanced to third on a passed ball.

Regan O’Neill then hit a line drive double to centre field to bring both runners home, but the inning wasn’t yet over. 

Luke Peters drew a walk, the two runners stole second and third and Regan O’Neill came home on a passed ball.

Kelvin Harrison and Kyle Linton then struck out swinging, but GB had a 3-0 lead.

Carry on scoring​

India again went up and down in order in the top of the second inning before GB added two more runs with a two-out rally.

After Tom Priscott and Amit Aswani had gone down on strikes against Kumar Deepak, James Darby drew a walk and Kevin Stockford pulled a two-run home run over the left field fence to bring the score to 5-0 in GB’s favour.

Kyle Linton’s injury flared up again in the top of the third inning, and James Darby came in to pitch and issued a lead-off walk to Rana Jagwinder Singh.  Singh moved to second on a sacrifice and to third on a single and scored on a wild pitch to make the score 5-1.

Though India had baserunners over the final two innings thanks to walks and a hit batsman, and some of them advanced on wild pitches or passed balls, James Darby also struck out eight in his three innings of work, and the strikeouts got him out of trouble.

End game

GB had failed to score in the bottom of the third inning, but resumed normal service with two more runs in the fourth.

Tom Priscott drove a one-out single to right field, stole second and scored on James Darby’s double to left field.  After Kevin Stockford walked, Regan O’Neill’s double to centre field brought James home for a 7-1 GB lead.

The mercy rule win was in sight, and it came in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Neil Davies led off the inning by drawing a walk, stole second and moved to third when Ieuan Gale grounded out to short.

That brought Tom Priscott to the plate knowing that a base hit would win the game for GB, and Tom drove in replacement runner Ieuan Gale with his line drive single to bring proceedings to a close and give GB their second win of the tournament.

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