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AAA National League Champions 2011
Semi-Final Box Score
Final Box Score
The Liverpool Trojans represented the AAA north division in the end of season championships to decide who would be crowned AAA National Champions for 2011. Following their undefeated regular league season 22 - 0, the Trojans were looking to avoid a repeat of last season's disappointment when they were beaten 13 - 3 by the Oxford Kings and remain undefeated champions this year. Sadly, the Halton Jaguars, this year's northern division runners-up, were unable to take part in this year's competition so their place was taken up by last year's winners, the Oxford Kings (18 -10). The southern division was also represented by the league wining Bristol Badgers (19 - 5) and Liverpool's semi-Final opponents, the Essex Redbacks (21 - 9).
Saturday 10th Sept. Semi-final. Liverpool's opponents for the semi-final's were the Essex Redback's who finished runners-up to the Bristol Badgers in the AAA Southern Division. Following Liverpool's game, Bristol's semi-final's opponents were last years champions, Oxford Kings.
Rob Vondy took the mound for the semi-final in what proved to be a short outing (2 innings), as lack of game practice towards the end of the season started to show in young Vondy's pitching. The Trojans looked shell shocked as the Redback's stormed to an early six run lead. The bench went quiet as memories of last year's defeat came flooding back. Drastic action was required, as the Trojans rallied in the bottom of the second clawing 4 runs back. Ian Blease started a one out rally with the customary Hit-By-Pitch to get on board. Rob Vondy advanced the runner with a single to right. Paul Mason and Alan Alger both drew walks as things started to move for the Trojans. A couple of wild pitches and a 2 RBI single off Harry Wren, signalled the Liverpool comeback.
A change of battery for the third inning saw Martin Godsall pitch in relief of Rob Vondy, and Dave Martin-Baez taking over the catching duties from Paul Mason. This was to prove a turning point in the game as Godsall and Martin-Baez combined to shut the door on the Redback's offence. The Trojans rallied in the bottom of the third inning scoring 3 more runs to take a well earned lead. Dave Martin-Baez started the one out rally with a single to left-centre,followed by an infield error allowing Ian Blease on board. The youngest player on the team, Dan Murray, stepped up and smashed a 2 run double to tie the game. Essex were rocking by this time, but when Rob Vondy's single drove in Dan Murray for the go-ahead run, the Trojans never looked back.
Errors started to creep into the Redback's game as the Trojans added another run in the bottom of the seventh thanks to some careless mistakes from Essex who were now under the Trojans Spell. Martin Godsall drove in the final run of the game scoring Rob Vody to seal a sweet victory.
The Trojans owed a lot to the pitching of Martin Godsall who put on a pitching clinic giving up just one hit in six innings work.
Sunday 11th Sept. Final. The Oxford Kings pulled off a shock win in their semi-final, beating the much fancied Bristol Badgers by a score of 11 - 7, which meant this year's final was a re-match of last year's final between the Trojans and the Kings.
A team curfew this year meant a sober Trojans team showed up, unlike the mistake made last year. The mood was confident and the stage was set, the fans were seated and the sun was out, lets play some baseball. Liverpool's last national title was in 1980 when the Liverpool Trojans defeated the Hull Aces by a score of 12 -1 with Brian Bretherton gaving up 1 run in a 7.0-inning complete-game win.
Fresh as a daisy, Martin Godsall was up early and raring to go. Liverpool kept the same line-up that ended Saturday's semi-final with Dave Martin-Baez kept in as catcher.
Liverpool batted first and quickly established a lead as Alan Alger scored on a wild pitch. Ian Blese scored Liverpool's second run in the bottom of the second after yet again being hit-by-pitch to make it to first. Bleasey, there has to be an easier way to get on base, wear it proudly.
The King's did manage to score a run in the bottom of the second, but other than that, Martin Godsall and the Trojans were on top of their game and dominated throughout.
Liverpool's break-out inning came in the fifth as hits from Paul Smith, Dan Murray, a base clearing double from Dave Martin-Baez, Rob Vondy's single followed by an RBI hit from Harry Wren combined to score five more runs.
The Trojans were hungry for more and added three more runs in the top of the sixth to take a 10 run lead.
With victory in sight, the Trojans ended the game on the slaughter rule to claim the 2011 AAA National Title. The victory was no more than the Trojans deserved. To go the entire 2011 season undefeated in league play is a truly monumental achievement and something every member of the club should be proud of. Let's go and have a party!
Once again it's not only the team that deserve the spoils, but everybody involved in the club. Thanks to the Trojanetts for their loyal support, to the Vondy family for having an early holiday this year, to all the players who couldn't make it, to Shaz for some great work capturing the moments, to me Ma & Pa for braving the cold again, to the Trohawk hairdressers, to Kevin & Zoe, sorry we missed the wedding, to Frank Gary for bringing Norman to the games and especially to Norman Wells who provides inspiration to us all. This one's for you Norm.
One final mention to the ledgend that is Martin Godsall. Martin received the AAA Most Valuable Player award for his magnificant performance over two games. Well done ginge! Goody.