After two days of thrilling action, the Richmond Flames met the Bracknell Blazers in the National Baseball League final, with Richmond's Cody Cain facing Brendan Cunliffe of the Blazer's on the mound.
So after two days of thrilling action, the Flames met the Blazers in the final, with Cody Cain and Brendan Cunliffe facing off on the mound.
Bracknell were looking to secure back-to-back titles, while Richmond were seeking their first championship since 2006.
Richmond had a great chance to take an early lead when Cain launched a deep fly ball in the bottom of the first inning, but Bracknell centre fielder Mike Traskmade a superb throw to the plate to nail Rob Unsell.
Both sides were relying on strong pitching and defence, with Cain and Cunliffe keeping the scoreboard blank through the first two innings.
But a succession of walks allowed the Flames to load the bases in the third, and Ryan Bird laced a two-RBI single to give Richmond the lead.
The Blazers immediately ate into that deficit when Ryan Trask doubled home Mike Trask in the fourth inning.
The Flames were growing in confidence, though, and they opened up a 4-1 lead with a succession of hits in the bottom of the fourth. With Cody Cain in dominant mood, Bracknell were struggling to get anything going and their exertions earlier in the day seemed to be taking their toll.
Richmond moved further ahead as pinch-hitter Chris Cook singled home Grant Delzoppo in the fifth inning, and a wild pitch allowed Richmond to tack on another.
With the light fading, the Blazers were unable to make any further impression on the scoreboard, while the Flames helped themselves to four more runs in the sixth inning to run out 10-1 winners.
Cody Cain claimed MVP honours after a dominating pitching display that saw him register 12 strikeouts.
Victorious coach Grant Delzoppo said: “It feels great. London and Bracknell have been the form teams all year so to come through as underdogs was great. We hit form at the right time and doing well on Saturday gave us that extra rest which was important.
“We have some older guys here," Delzoppo continued, "and I think that experience pulled us through. We had some great pitching, especially from Cody, and we are absolutely delighted to be back on top.”
Bracknell coach Rob Rance said: “I think the London game pretty much killed us and the final was a game too far. We were carrying a couple of injuries and that really hurt us.
“But we should not be too disappointed," Rance concluded. “We have had the best regular season in our history and if we had come through again and did what we did last year it would have been amazing.”