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Alconbury's Xavier Merrill throws the ball to first from his position at shortstop during a game against SHAPE, Friday, at RAF Alconbury, England.

Alconbury's Xavier Merrill throws the ball to first from his position at shortstop during a game against SHAPE, Friday, at RAF Alconbury, England. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

Alconbury's Xavier Merrill throws the ball to first from his position at shortstop during a game against SHAPE, Friday, at RAF Alconbury, England.

Alconbury's Xavier Merrill throws the ball to first from his position at shortstop during a game against SHAPE, Friday, at RAF Alconbury, England. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

Alconbury's Solomon Grussing keeps his eye on the ball while trying to hit a pitch in a game against SHAPE, Friday at RAF Alconbury, England. Grussing finished the day with two hits and a walk.

Alconbury's Solomon Grussing keeps his eye on the ball while trying to hit a pitch in a game against SHAPE, Friday at RAF Alconbury, England. Grussing finished the day with two hits and a walk. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

SHAPE's Nick Westrick tries to throw a runner out at first from his shortstop position during a game against the Alconbury Dragons, on Friday.

SHAPE's Nick Westrick tries to throw a runner out at first from his shortstop position during a game against the Alconbury Dragons, on Friday. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

Alconbury's Beau Hocevar catches a pop-fly during a game against SHAPE, Friday at RAF Alconbury, England. The Dragons lost both games of the doubleheader against the Spartans by scores of 13-4 and 4-0.

Alconbury's Beau Hocevar catches a pop-fly during a game against SHAPE, Friday at RAF Alconbury, England. The Dragons lost both games of the doubleheader against the Spartans by scores of 13-4 and 4-0. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

SHAPE's Connor Manning sends the ball for a strike during a game against the Alconbury Dragons, Friday, in England. The Spartans took two games from the Dragons with scores of 13-4 and 4-0. Manning had eight strikeouts in his pitching debut.

SHAPE's Connor Manning sends the ball for a strike during a game against the Alconbury Dragons, Friday, in England. The Spartans took two games from the Dragons with scores of 13-4 and 4-0. Manning had eight strikeouts in his pitching debut. (David Hodge/Stars and Stripes)

RAF ALCONBURY, England — A DODDS-Europe Western Region baseball matchup Friday between RAF Alconbury and SHAPE yielded a couple of wins for the visiting Spartans, and gave the Dragons some much-needed experience. Although the scores reflect a sizeable margin between the two teams — with SHAPE winning by scores of 13-4 and 4-0 — Alconbury had several missed opportunities to put runs on the board. In each game, the Dragons left eight runners stranded on base. “The main thing is they’re continuing to improve,” Alconbury coach Kurt Miller said. “These are the first games we’ve played [at Dragon field] since March.” Miller said his players heads didn’t appear to be on the game during the first outing, but solid defensive play kept the second game much closer. In the first game, SHAPE had a monster top of third inning — with 15 batters stepping up to home plate. Eight of them scored. Spartan coach Ken Goff said he feels several of his athletes are able to play well at multiple positions. “These kids are probably the strongest team I’ve coached in the years’ I’ve been here,” Goff said. SHAPE (6-2) heads to Lakenheath Saturday to face the Lancers and Goff expects it to be a good matchup. “I hope we win tomorrow and get a better seed at Europeans,” he said. Alconbury (1-8) travels to face Lakenheath on May 19.hodged@estripes.osd.mil


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