Despite a vastly improved performance, Cosmos search for their maiden win continued with a hard-fought 15-8 loss to a vastly experienced Belfast Buccaneers side at the International BaseBall Centre on Saturday last.
Cosmos started quickly with some clever base-stealing from star performer Filip Zakrocki and Thomas Billi. Catcher Michael O’Callaghan drew 3 walks with an assured performance with the bat and evergreen pitcher Joerg Toepfer produced another solid all-round performance which meant at the top of the 5th the game was delicately poised at 5-5.
Cosmos felt aggrieved by a number of close calls which went against them in this crucial part of the game. One particularly unique interpretation of the obstruction rule by umpire Keyser Soze went against catcher Michael O’Callaghan and resulted in a run being scored.
However, Belfast’s experience told in the end and steady batting and clever base stealing saw them pull away to finish up fully deserving winners by 15-6 after 9 innings.
Filip Zakrocki in particular stood out in defence with a number of acrobatic catches ably abetted by Jan Fre at 1st. Cosmos handed debuts to 3 rookies in the outfield – Bryan Curtis, Lukas Odendaal and Ian Bradley and all 3 put in a strong performance which belied their relative lack of experience. Alec and Ryan Schmidt also both impressed on their debuts which augurs well for the future of the Cosmos.
Big-name ( literally) off-season trade from the Dublin Spartans Mick ‘Miguel Rojo’ O’ Donoghue,has been Cosmos star performer with the bat so far this season but had a relatively quiet day on Saturday.With rumours of off-field discipline issues (WhatsApp) circling around ‘Red Mick’ again, if Cosmos are to buck their losing streak against the Spartans and Hurricanes on Saturday in their upcoming double-header, they will need all their stars performing and to raise the general level of performance yet again.
MVP for the Cosmos on Saturday was undoubtedly Filip Zakrocki with 2 spectacular defensive plays and a solid performance with the bat.