Weston Jets are flying high after victory over Cardiff Merlins in first home outing

PUBLISHED: 10:00 02 May 2019

Weston Jets baseball team picture.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Weston Jets baseball team picture. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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Weston Jets overcame Cardiff Merlins 13-10 in their first home game of the season, leaving chairman Kev Robson 'thrilled' with his side's performance, writes Joshua Thomas.

Weston Mayor Cllr Mike Lyall making the first pitch at Weston Jets baseball team's opening game.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONWeston Mayor Cllr Mike Lyall making the first pitch at Weston Jets baseball team's opening game. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

After a 23-3 defeat to Bristol Bats in their first game of the season, the Jets responded in the best way possible to move to third place in the Northern Division of the South West League.

Gian Jimenez was the hero after he struck out 13 of the 20 Cardiff batters he faced and pitched four scoreless innings.

Robson was full of praise for his side, but had special reservations for Jimenez.

“Gian in particular just overpowered the Merlins in the end and gave us the platform to go on to win the game,” he said.

Kevin Robson tags outs a Cardiff player at first base.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONKevin Robson tags outs a Cardiff player at first base. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

“More than anything though I was thrilled with our aggressive approach to our base running. We stole 18 bases, with almost all the team contributing which continuously put our runners in scoring positions for the whole game.”

Mayor of Weston Cllr Michael Lyall got the game at Hutton Moor under way in presidential style by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.

However, it was the team from Cardiff who got of to the better start when Yuki Kato scored the first home run of the match, hitting off the pitch of pitcher Marshall Hanney.

The Jets hit back and went on to lead the first innings 2-1, but in a topsy turvy game the Merlins once again took the lead after two more runs in the second innings.

A Cardiff player makes 2nd base.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONA Cardiff player makes 2nd base. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Jes Jimenez, Darren Hines and Mantas Sulinskas all scored runs to send the Jets back into the lead but in blustery condtions, Hanney started to tire.

The Merlins scored seven runs, including another home run from Aaron Fulton-Brown to end their fourth innings 10-5 up.

Three more runs from Dan Kirby-James and brothers Jes and Gian Jimenez got the score back to 10-8.

Gian Jimenez would take over from the tired Hanney in the fifth innings and his impressive display allowed the Jets to come back into the game.

Weston Jets' Jes Jimenez makes to first base.    Picture: MARK ATHERTONWeston Jets' Jes Jimenez makes to first base. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Despite heroic defending from the Merlins, two more runs from the Jimenez brothers and one apiece from centre fielder Kirby-James and first baseman Kev Robson secured victory ahead of Weston's next game, which sees them travel to Bristol Buccaneers on May 12.

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