Bristol Baseball Club ended the season with the Badgers claiming top spot in the combined league. They became the South West Baseball League (SWBL) Champions by overcoming Southern Conference Champions, the Exeter Spitfires, 9-3 at Somerdale Pavilion on Sunday 13th August to claim the title for the first time in the club’s history.
“This was by far and away the best team performance of the season with every player making crucial contributions when it mattered,” said Hollies. “Every single player on the Badgers roster deserves credit for the way they played during the season and we are delighted that we brought the trophy home to Bristol for the first time ever.”
“A great deal of credit for the club’s successful season should go to coach and catcher Rhodri Theaker who has driven up the standard of every player in the club over the season,” added Hollies. “The players have responded positively to him and their efforts have been rewarded with the trophy.”
As part of the first SWBL Championship Sunday, the Southern Conference All Stars beat the Northern Conference 7-5 as the warm up for the final later in the day. The Bristol Bats named Paul Carter, Ben Smith, Ashley Pooley and Alex Brown as their All Stars, as every team in the league names 4 players.
The Bristol Badgers clinched the SWBL Northern Conference title on the 6th August and The Bristol Bats rounded off a good year for the club by finishing second in the conference; after Taunton forfeited scheduled league matches against both Bristol teams at the weekend.
The Bristol Bats named Paul Carter, Ben Smith, Ashley Pooley and Alex Brown as their All Stars, as every team in the league names 4 players for the All Star game as North vs South.
“The Bats’ four All Stars deserve the recognition for their performances on and off the field,” said Bats manager Billy Vickery. “We are delighted to have finished second behind the Badgers.”
Before these two games there was disruption to the end of the season games with the Bristol derby game called off on the 30th July. The Badgers played a shortened game against Taunton Muskets winning 19-0, on the 24th July, but The Bats had their game called off against the Taunton Musketeers.
Players and fans alike had an awards night at Somerdale on the 16th September to round off a great season.
The club presented 28 awards to players and supporters for their achievements in 2017.
For the Badgers, Tom Hollies picked up the awards for best batting average, best on base percentage, best pitcher and MVP. Nick South picked up the awards for the best outfielder and most improved player in the Badgers while Rhodri Theaker was catcher of the year and stole the most bases for the champions.
The Bats also had a great season finishing second to the Badgers in the Northern Conference.
Ashley Pooley picked up three certificates, winning the batting average, on base percentage and best outfielder awards for the Bats. Newcomer Ben Smith was voted the Bats MVP for 2017, while Tom Rowe was judged the most improved player of the season.
Rich Green also picked up three awards for most home runs, stolen bases and runs scored. Ricky Gellatly picked up the award for best pitcher while Bats’ team manager Billy Vickery walked away as best catcher.
Alex Brown and Par Eliasson picked up the RBI awards for the Bats and Badgers respectively while Brown was also voted best infielder for the Bats.
“This really has been a fantastic season on and off the field and every award was well deserved,” said club chairman Richard Evans. “Although the season is done and dusted, we are now looking forward to 2018 when we will be celebrating our 10th Anniversary and making that a more impressive year than 2017.”