It's all about pitching in matchup in UK

Alconbury's Wes Reddecliff attempts to hit a pitch from AFNORTH during a double header on Saturday, March 29, 2014, at RAF Alconbury, England. Alconbury and AFNORTH split the two games.


By ADAM L. MATHIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 29, 2014

RAF ALCONBURY, England – Two relatively untested teams met at RAF Alconbury on Saturday and split a doubleheader.

The wins seem largely to have hung on the experience of the two teams’ pitchers.
Alconbury won 15-5 in the first game. Several of those runs came via AFNORTH’s inability to throw strikes.

AFNORTH coach Ran Jones described his pitcher as "kind of wild," not able to get the ball into the strike zone and allowing Alconbury numerous runs in the first inning.

"You don't really want your best (pitcher) out for the first game … save him for the second game to sort of clean up," Jones said of his strategy.

Alconbury, however, adopted the opposite tactic, using James Wood as pitcher heavily during the first game. The Dragons were forced to keep him away from the mound in the second game since the rules limit how many innings pitchers can throw. AFNORTH took advantage with an 11-0 victory, helped in part by the pitching of Trent Weldon.

Alconbury coach Dave Musselman said half his team has never played before and it needs to improve its pitching depth.

"We've only got one guy that has ever pitched, that's it … we're getting, you know, up to speed on the mechanics of how to do it," Musselman said.

Inexperience is to be expected on Alconbury's team. Musselman said the school did not field a baseball team last year from due to lack of student interest.

Still, Musselman is confident about the team improving by the time of the European championships.

"I know that we'll be ready, these guys are ready right now to come out and play ball and know what they're doing," Musselman said. "We just need to strengthen them in their positions and, you know, just give them that extra practice so that they can get that muscle memory down."

AFNORTH, meanwhile has a long, baseball lull in front of it. Jones said the Lions’ next DODDS game is in May, with only one scrimmage in the interim.


Twitter: @AMathisStripes

AFNORTH's Trent Weldon throws a pitch against Alconbury on Saturday, March 29, 2014, at RAF Alconbury, England. AFNORTH won the second game 11-0.


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