2018 is underway
After finishing 1 game from winning the championship in 2017, the Belfast Bucs are coming strong in 2018 with only 1 goal in mind, winning the B league after only 3 years in the league.
The season started with a visit to Monaghan in which coach Coffie got rewarded with his first win as Bucs coach, he started veteran Darwin Sanchez in the mound and he proceeded to restrain the comets hitters while contributing with the bat en route to a 22-6 convincing victory. In this game the trio of young Bucs outfielders Barboza, Sanchez and Mundarain punished the Comets pitching to the tune of 9 hits, 2 doubles and 9 RBIs between them.
Next up in the schedule was a double header against defending champion Giants, coach Coffie once again went with Darwin Sanchez for the opener and although the Giants took an early 4-0 lead, the bucs came back in the second with 6 runs of his own but the Giants tied it 6 all in the bottom of the frame. Bucs went on to get 9 unanswered runs over the next 4 frames en route to their second win 17-13, this game saw Kleiber Sanchez break through offensively, hitting 3rd he went 5 for 6 with 2 doubles and an inside the park HR getting 6 RBIs in the process, combined with Darwin who went 4-4 with 2 walks were a 3-4 punch that carried the Bucs offense through the game. With some players missing, coach Coffie has to test the teams versatility and we saw Oliver Leonard play his first start at 3B and Ultan his first at SS, Aoife Cavanagh and Roisin McMahon debuted for the Bucs as pinch hitters late in the game the former getting her first RBI.
On the second game, coach Coffie went to Kleiber Sanchez to start and although the young pitcher showed some flashes of command, his control was not there and he ended up serrendering 8 walks and 4 hits in 1.1 innings (14 batters faced) and allowed 10 giants to cross the plate and although the offense showed up again vs Giants Veteran Sean Mitchell (winner of the final last year), the 5 hits collected by Alex Barboza and the further 4 RBIs by Kleiber were not enough to overcome the 27 runs that the giants scored against Kleiber, Alex Mansell and Jose Santos.
On the May Day Bank Holiday weekend, the Bucs travelled to Corkagh to get 2 single games against the Canes and Spartan, with a severily limited team (only 9 players travelled including 2 rookies) the team proved their team spirit and resilience by getting 2 big wins. On the opener, coach Coffie gave the ball to ex-coach Jose Santos who proceeded to limit the canes offense to 4 hits, 9 walks and 8 runs (5 earned) while getting a key 2-RBI hit to give himself a 2 run cushion on the top of the 6th inning, Darwin Sanchez came in to pithc in the 7th for his first save. Rookie Pedro Bianco got his first 2 hits in the league including a double and looked good at the plate, Evan cusick starting in LF made a couple of very good catches that saved a couple of runs and Darwin Sanchez collected 4 hits in the game and Ultan scored 3 runs from the 2nd spot in the lineup for a 9-8 win.
Things got even trickier on the second game where coach Casper went to Darwin sanchez to control the then 0-19 spartans (over the last 2 seasons) however, just as last year, this spartans have some serious hitting and although they started in a 6 run hole mostly due to wild pitches, the started lighting up Darwin with 6 runs over the first 2 frames, however, the Bucs offense also showed up big for this one and socred 13 runs on the first three innings and never looked back, however, a scary slide into 2nd saw Evan get a twisted ankle that limited his range in the OF and on the base paths and when ex-coach Santos had to leave the game in the bottom of the last, our official scorer Islay MacKenchie got to use her well deserved No17 uniform to play D and help preserve the victory 16-10.
With that, the bucs start the season in 1st place with a 4-1 record on their first 5 games - next up, 2 away against the Mariners in Shanganagh Park in Dublin on May 12 - first pitch 11.30am #GoBucs
Training Info 2018
Outdoor training for 2018 has started, the Bucs will train on Thursdays from 6:30 pm in Hydebank playing fields with a supplementary training session on Tuesdays also from 6:30 pm until the end of September.
There is still time to join the Bucs, simply come to one of our training sessions, no previous experience required, just plenty of enthusiasm