The Pretenders split the series in Kr.sand
Dønnestad Aug. 31st 2019
With the league-title on the line for both teams the Pretenders gave their best to win both games. It started great with a one-hit performance by their Ace Alex Guilford as the Pretenders won the first game 2-0, but the 2nd game turned into a real nail-biter where the Pretenders ended up with a tough one-run loss (7-8).
Game 1, 2-0:
The best pitcher in Norway is the Ace for the Pretenders – Alex Guilford. He continued his dominate performance going 7 IP 13 Ks 1 H for his 3rd shut-out of the season. The only runner he allowed on base got picked-off and sent back in shame. Facing the minimum amount of batters in the game, Guilford is continuing his hot streak of 4 consecutive games without allowing a single run in ES (he gave up two runs in the NM finals – one of them were earned).
The Pretenders had stranded three runners in the first three innings before they started the top of the 4th with back-to-back singles by Joe Rollwagen and Matt Connell. They advanced to 2nd and 3rd on an errant throw by the Suns’ shorts stop. Rollwagen scores the first run on a wild pitch, and Connell on a single by Enrico Guerrini. These two runs turned out to be difference in the game.
Game 2, 7-8:
The Pretenders fought hard in the second game, but got behind from the start as the Suns scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning. The Suns got at least their first two batters on in every inning except for the 6th - where they only got the lead-off guy on - which made every inning difficult and errors cost them deeply.
Matt Connell pitched with attitude on the mound and although he didn’t have his best stuff he fought through each inning leaving 10 base-runners stranded. He went 6 IP 10H 6ER 4BB 7K HP. At one point he had a stare-down with the plate umpire and it looked like he was going to be tossed, but Connell asked the ump in Connell fashion to get back behind the plate.
At the plate the Pretenders produced runs, but just like the Suns they left many potential runs on the bases – 11 in total. They came back scoring every time the Suns did, but was one run behind the whole time. A frustrating loss where both regular errors and mental errors – both offensive and defensive - cost the game for the defending champions.
The Pretenders are now 6-2 for the season. They have 4 games left – 2x Earls and 2x Royals. If they win all 4 they will win the league for sure.
Best of the best:
Alex Guilford: 7IP H 14K / 5-6 3R 2BB
Joe Rollwagen: 4-7 3R BB
Matt Connell: 6IP 7K / 2-7 2R