The Pretenders split the season-opener in Tr.heim
Lade, Trondheim, May 14th 2022
After an eventful off-season where the Pretenders lost 7 of their best players to Vålerenga, the brand-new look of P1 finally got their season started - on a rainy and windy day in Trondheim.
Game 1 vs. Tr.heim: 8-9
With a brand new look on P1 including 4 rookies - James, Lukasz, Luca and John - the Pretenders went up North to Tr.heim to start their season-opener at Lade Idrettspark. It was evident that there were some nerves in the season-opener as the Pretenders made several mental errors, both offensively and defensively, but never the less the squad performed a great game and had the lead throughout the whole game until the bottom of the last inning.
The game turned into a real nailbiter of a battle as both teams followed each other throughout the entire game.
The Pretenders started off the 2nd inning with a huge ground-rule-double by James Theodoes in the left-center gap, followed by a hit-by-pitch and a single by Darren McKellep - combined with a couple of productive outs - to take a 4-2 lead. Trondheim followed that up with a couple of hits on their own to tie the game in the bottom of the same inning. This was the essence throughout the whole game - every time the Pretenders took the lead, Trondheim came back in the bottom of the same inning or the inning after to tie the game up.
The same thing happened in the 5th - Ai Narita hit a double and James a single - combined with a couple of walks - the Pretenders took a 7-4 lead. Trondheim came back in the bottom of the 5th and 6th to tie the game up at 7-7.
In the top of the 7th the Pretenders took a much needed 8-7 lead after Enrico Guerrini got drilled in the back (the P1 team leader Terje Hoaas was screaming out of joy from the dugout) and he later scored on yet another double by James, but the Pretenders couldn't hold on to the lead as Trondheim came back in the bottom of the 7th to score 2 runs - the winning run on a wild pitch with bases loaded and two outs.
On the mound Ai took the ball from the start and pitched a solid game with 12 Ks over 6.2 innings, but the defense couldn't help him out as we made 5 errors in the game.
A very tough loss to start the season, but a lot of lessons learned that we’ll build on as the season will progress.
Game 2 vs Tr.heim: 16-1
The 2nd game of the day was like night and day compared to the 1st one, and it was obvious that the squad had let the tough loss stay in the past as they came out focused and aggressive from the get go. With much better discipline at the plate the Pretenders scored 4 runs in the 1st inning - mainly on walks, productive outs and a great rbi-single by Andreas Erga. In the 2nd inning the squad scored 3 runs on doubles by Ai and Lukaz Trepczyk and a single by James.
In the 6th inning the Champions from Oslo finished off the game with another 6 runs on walks, HP and a rbi-single by Lukasz - to secure the first win of the season.
On the mound Ty Tollestrup pitched his best game ever in a Pretender uniform as he pitched a complete 1-run game on 2 hits and 6 Ks.
Defensivly Ai performed a great play at short-stop as he made a back-hand catch on a hard one-hopper and threw a perfeced strike to 1st in the 2nd inning of the game.
Best of the best:
James Theodoes - batting 5-9 with 2 Doubles, 5 RBIS and 4 runs
Ty Tollestrup - 6 IP with 1 run, 2 hits and 6 Ks
Ai Narita - batting 3-6 with 2 doubles, 2 RBIs and 2 runs and 6.2 IP with 12 Ks
Note: Darren broke yet again his own record by getting two hits in the first game as the oldest player ever to record not only a hit in an ESB game but a multi-hit game with his 62 years and 49 days.