Updated: Sep 7
Yesterday, the National Baseball League champion was decided between the London Mets and their intraclub rivals, the London Capitals. The Mets and Capitals both competed in the Federation Cup Qualifier in early August. Both made strong showings (the Mets won their pool) and were still riding high on those successes as they entered what has become a classic Finsbury Park showdown. During the regular season, the two teams fought back-and-forth for the top place in the NBL table, but the Mets prevailed in getting the top seed by taking the season series in their final doubleheader matchup on August 15th (Game 1, Game 2).
The big bats of the Mets opened the game up with 5 quick runs in the bottom of the first off of Caps starter Masa Hashiguchi. After this tough start to his day, Hashiguchi settled in and put up 4 scoreless innings, while the Capitals started to chip away, scoring in the 2nd and 3rd. Unfortunately for the Caps, the Mets' unrelenting offense came alive in the 6th, and they scored in each of what would be their three final frames, including a big solo homerun from manager Rich Minford. With the score at 8-2 going into the top of the 9th, the ever-scrappy Capitals chained together a single, walk, and hit-by-pitch leading up to a bases-loaded opportunity for Ian Deering. Deering popped off a bases-clearing single to right center, starting what looked to be a comeback rally with 1 out. However, Mets closer Drake Yoshioka managed to induce two quick fly-outs to finish the game.
The two finest teams in British baseball put together quite a show at Finsbury Park, as always. Minford was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate for the Mets while Deering's 3-for-5 led the Capitals' attack.