MKSL May round-up: Tigers set early pace
We’re already a third of the way through the season and it’s the Towcester Tigers setting the early pace, having won both of their games so far. Both wins have been hard fought; a narrow 15-13 victory over Lakers in their first game was followed by a last-gasp win over the DDs. Trailing 12-7 going into the bottom of the 7th, Tigers rallied to score 6 runs, securing the first walk-off win since June 2019 in the process.
Lakers are currently level on points with Tigers having beaten Rhinos and Hornets, however, they have played a game more including the aforementioned loss to the Tigers which gives the Towcester side the advantage. Elsewhere, the league’s newest team, Base Cadets, got their first ever win securing a 14-3 victory over the 2018 League Champion Odd Sox. With four teams tied with two points, the battle for the playoff spots is still wide open!
Impact of the fences
The move to the fully-fenced field at Conniburrow was always likely to have some impact statistically on the league games. Six of the eight games played so far have been on the dirt diamond so it may be a little too early to draw any definitive conclusions.
But let’s have a look at runs scored and the number of home runs. Total runs scored are a little below average at 27 runs per game. Whilst the long-term average is 31.3 runs per game through the first 8 games, the 216 runs scored so far is ahead of the equivalent from both the 2018 (175) and 2019 (213) seasons. This suggests the fences aren’t having too much of an impact on the total runs scored in games.
Home run chase
The number of home runs however is quite significantly down on last year. Whilst no one has cleared the fences at Conniburrow yet , there have been 14 inside-the-park homeruns. Through the first eight games of 2021, there had been 22 homeruns, so a 36% reduction on last year with the fences limiting hits in the gaps to doubles or triples.
Steve Lamb and Jake Clarke are currently pacing the league with two each. The usual sluggers are yet to make any real headway on the leaderboard but with plenty of games still to go, it should be an interesting homerun chase.