We’re sorry

In our match report of the Belfast Bucs game I wrote ‘One particularly unique interpretation of the obstruction rule by umpire (insert name here) went against catcher Michael O’Callaghan and resulted in a run being scored‘. It has come to my attention that(insert name here) was not in fact the umpire to make the contentious call on the day. For this error and for any hurt or inconvenience caused to(insert name here) I am truly,deeply sorry.

Mariners too good for Cosmos

Look at the camera

Cosmos(Cork, not New York) made the long journey north from the ‘real capital’ to the current actual capital for a difficult double-header against the Mariners (Bray,not Seattle) on Saturday last but were soundly beaten by the league leaders in both fixtures by scores of 10-0 and 19-9.

Excellent submarine pitching by Mariners Alex Capraru saw the Cosmos held scoreless in the first game.Mariners tacked on 5 runs in the 5th to finish the game 10-0 via the ‘mercy rule’ for a fully deserved win. Despite the one-side scoreline Cosmos had their chances and stranded 3 twice before ultimately falling to the the steady arm of Capraru. Missing Cork’s favourite blow-in, the man who espouses all things Cork despite being born in the ‘flyover’ county of Carlow, ‘Red Mick’ O’Donoghue, due to illness (get well soon Mick) and stalwart ex-Italy under 18 international Thomas Billi to work commitments in the CUH( we appreciate you Thomas) Cosmos welcomed back star performer Filip Zakrocki from injury and evergreen Joerg Toepfer took the hill again.

Despite some consistent hitting by lead off man and player manager Colm Coakley, excellent defensive work in particular by Filip Zakrocki and rookie Lukas Odendaal complemented by solid work from pitchers Joerg Toepfer and Alec Schmidt ,the wylie Mariners had too much experience and saw out the first game with relative ease.

The second game started much more brightly for the Cosmos and they jumped into an 8-0 lead after their first at bat. Alec Schmidt produced an excellent scoreless inning but thereafter the wheels came off for the Cosmos as the Mariners roused themselves and eventually took a 19-8 lead going into the last inning. Cosmos were only able to tack on one more run in the last and the Mariners again ran out deserving 19-9 winners.

Both games were generally played in good spirits apart from one slightly unsavoury collision between Mariners captain Matthew Green and Cosmos catcher Michael O’Callaghan where the Cosmos felt a word of apology wouldn’t have been out of place given the general ‘ambience’ to that point. Green, who led the Mariners from the front with bat and in defence, preferred to adopt some traditional Aussie ‘sportsmanship’ and thereafter there was a brief exchange of pleasantries which experienced umpire (insert name here) quickly quelled with a warning to both teams.

Never has a Cork team, in any code, made the long journey to the chilly northern climes of Dublin and not been on the wrong end of refereeing decisions (and this has nothing at all to do with paranoia of course) and the Cosmos felt there were a number of ‘interesting’ interpretations of the rules which went against them at key moments.Two uniform infractions, a baulk call, an infield interference, two catchers interference calls and interference by Mariners pitcher Alex Capraru who ‘appeared’ to grab the runners jersey with his throwing hand before making the tag all contributed to the sense of grievance. The Mariners, possibly, due to their greater ‘experience’ were able to stay on the right side of the officiating for both games. The calls wouldn’t have changed the results but could have led to tighter contests as they call came at crucial moments in the games.

The baulk call came against promising young pitcher Alec Schmidt with 2 outs for 0 runs in the second inning and appeared to unsettle Schmidt, who to that point had not given up a run to his first 5 batters faced. Despite this the young Schmidts – brothers Alec and Ryan- both put in solid performances again in only their 3rd outings for the Cosmos.

Shanganagh Park

The game was played in the idyllic setting of Shanganagh park -which was immaculately prepared by the Mariners -and despite it’s generally unfortunate geographic location from a Cork perspective, has to be one of the most pleasant places to play any sport outside the real capital. The Mariners were full value for their wins and march on to the playoffs with a likely date with Ashbourne B.

The Cosmos have made vast improvements in recent weeks but face another tough double header next week at Corkagh park against the Spartans and the Comets. Both teams will be eager to finish what has been a difficult season for all with a win against the league newcomers.

Despite being well beaten by the Mariners,the Cosmos will take many positives from the trip and are eagerly looking forward to welcoming them to the ‘real capital’ for some good ‘ole southern comfort next season.

Maiden win for the Cosmos

Veteran lead-off player/manager looking snazzy in stripey socks

Cosmos got their maiden win of the season with a hard fought 20-9 victory over Hurricanes B at Corkagh Park on Saturday last. In the first game of the day Cosmos narrowly lost out 20-16 to Spartans B.

Cosmos 16 Spartans B 20

Cosmos made the long journey north to Clondalkin for the double-header with renewed optimism after a vastly improved performance against the Belfast Bucs the previous week. Despite missing Filip Zakrocki to a hamstring injury Cosmos were still able to field a blend of experience and youth with tenured all-rounder Joerg Toepfer again taking the ball for the first game vs Spartans B.

Despite some excellent work with the bat against the Spartans, defensive errors again cost the Cosmos dearly in the crucial innings. Leading 15-12 at the top of the 5th the Spartans were able to tack on 8 runs to retake the lead. Some good at bats from Spartans veterans Alan Fox,Jens Hillebrand assisted by rookies Hazel Kilduff and Danni Scannell put the Spartans back in the driving seat but they were helped by very generous fielding by the Cosmos.

Debutant pitcher Alec Schmidt recovered admirably from a difficult maiden inning to pitch an excellent shutout 6th which meant the Cosmos were still in the hunt heading into the 7th.

Despite their best efforts efforts in the 7th,Cosmos were unable to tack on anymore runs and a relatively inexperienced Spartans side ran out 20-16 winners. Best for Cosmos were leadoff man and player-manager Colm Coakley who had a solid game with a 100% on-base performance after 5 at-bats. Red Mick O’Donoghue redicovered his form against his former club with an assured performance, catcher Mike O Callaghan had a very good day with the bat and Alec Schmidt produced an excellent performance for his first outing on the hill.

Cosmos get lost in the woods but find their way out to secure maiden win

Cosmos 20 Hurricanes B 9

In the second part of the double-header Cosmos faced an experienced Hurricanes B lineup led by catcher Joe Zefran. The seemingly indestructible Joerg Toepfer took the hill again, Ryan Schmidt replaced relief pitcher Jan Fre at first, Lukas Odendaal moved to 3rd and Ian Bradley came in at left field.

Another excellent pitching performance by Joerg Toepfer in rapidly deteriorating conditions meant that the Cosmos were able to match their much more experienced coutnerparts throughout. Topefer’s counterpart Alex Geronimo struggled to adapt to the wet and blustery conditions and was called ashore after a difficult 3 innings.

Cosmos led 7-4 after 1 and held their nerve during the first rain delay to lead 20-9 heading into the 5th. With the game legal and the weather conditions worsening rapidly,plate umpire made his best call in a very long time and awarded the game to the jubilant Cosmos.

Both catchers- Mike O’ Callaghan for the Cosmos and Hurricances Joe Zefran produced excellent performances in terrible conditions in the enormous Corkagh backstop area. Bryan Curtis made 2 excellent grabs in left field for the Cosmos to secure 2 crucial outs in the 4th but overall MVP for the Cosmos was again the evergreen Joerg Toepfer,who pitched both games and produced a solid performance with the bat.

Next up for Cosmos is a difficult double header away to leaders Mariners B at Shanganagh.

Cosmos fall 15-6 to Belfast Bucs

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.