The Essex Redbacks' junior players took part in the National Finals on Saturday 13 September but were unable to progress past the first playoff round despite solid performances.
The Redbacks joined players from Bracknell Baseball Club to create the Rednells, with a number of the players having represented Great Britain development squads or having appeared in last season's BBF National Youth Baseball Championship.
Unfortunately for the Rednells, playing in only their second game together, they were outmuscled by a well-drilled London Sports side, made up mainly of American players.
Of the Redbacks players, Max Asher had the stand-out performance with an RBI and three runs, as well as a number of good plays on the infield, along with Joe Dawe, while Will Weston and Oscar Voller also had solid games in the oufield.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Manager Sean Briscomb"]It was a tricky situation given that we had so little time to prepare, but aside from a few errors in the first two innings, both sides were evenly matched. I was really impressed how the two sets of players from Essex and Bracknell combined to form a proper team unit.[/quote]
Next season, the Redbacks should have sufficient numbers to be able to play more regularly throughout the year.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Manager Sean Briscomb"]Changes in age groups in youth baseball this year meant that our sides all seemed to lose out a bit, but with a growing number of enthusiastic youngsters coming through, I think 2015 will be a really strong year for the Redbacks in junior baseball as well as in the senior sides. The boys did the club proud this weekend, and I think they will have strong futures in the sport.[/quote]
The Redbacks have a few more weekends of baseball action, including an inter-club day on Sunday 21 September featuring coaches-vs-kids and adults mixed games and softball action, followed by festivities at club sponsor Road House The Diner in Wickford.
After that, the Redbacks' senior players will be heading to Holland to take part in the annual MEET Tourmanet in Neunen. In 2013, the Redbacks won their first ever international game at the tournament, and hopes are high that they can add to their tally this season.