Rebeldes, Milton Keyes Victorious in Battle For Britain at Farnham Park

Thu 3 Jun 2021

The annual Battle for Britain tournament was held at Farnham Park for the very first time this past weekend, and what a weekend it was! Featuring a record 12 teams vying for two titles – one for the Higher Division and one for the Lower - the action was nonstop.

Originally created by the Kent Buccaneers and held in Tonbridge, Kent, the Battle For Britain celebrates British Baseball from across the UK. With teams representing Scotland, the East of England Baseball League, the West Midlands Baseball League, Milton Keynes Baseball League, the University of Nottingham and more, this year’s contest was held at Farnham Park in partnership with BaseballSoftballUK, bringing one of Britain’s pre-eminent baseball tournaments to the National Baseball Complex.

Saturday started cloudy and cool, but quickly warmed up both on and off the diamonds. The Higher Division saw the SW Rebeldes hold both their opponents scoreless (Scotland and the Northern Knights) while the Bracknell Blazers also went an undefeated 2-0 on the day. In the Lower Division, Bracknell’s Inferno team outscored their opponents 20-4, while the MK Boks won close games with both the University of Nottingham and the well-named East of England Fire Breathing Kittens. Of note, the Bracknell Inferno had several players make their playing debut at various positions across the diamond.

Day 1 Scores: 

  • Higher Division
    • SW Rebeldes 1, Northern Knights 0
    • BC Vetra 3, Scotland 2
    • Rebeldes 1, Scotland 0
    • Bracknell Blazers 1, BC Vetra 3
    • Bracknell Blazers 5, Kent Buccaneers1
  • Lower Division
    • BC Vetra II 4, West Midlands Baseball League 3
    • Milton Keynes Boks 3, University of Nottingham 2
    • Bracknell Inferno 6, East of England Fire Breathing Kittens 4
    • MK Boks 7, EEBL 1
    • Bracknell Inferno 14, WMBL 0
    • Bracknell Inferno 6, BC Vetra II 4

Sunday started with sun and warmed up as the day progressed, with the second round of pool play taking place. Pitching was particularly on display throughout the day, with one at-bat featuring 12 straight strikes and foul balls. However, batters had their chance too, with the Bracknell Blazers (18), Milton Keynes (14 & 15), Rebeldes (14) and BC Vetra II (10) all putting up crooked numbers in at least one contest.

Day 2 Scores

  • Higher Division
    • Knights 4, Kent 2
    • Bracknell Blazers 3, Scotland 2
    • Rebeldes 5, Bracknell Blazers 3
    • Northern Knights 7, Scotland 3
    • Rebeldes 3, BC Vetra 0
    • Knights 6, BC Vetra 4
    • Rebeldes 14, Kent 8
  • Lower Division
    • Uni Nottingham 9, EEBL 3
    • MK Boks 15, Bracknell Inferno 1
    • WMBL 7, Nottingham 2
    • MK Boks 14, BC Vetra II 0
    • WMBL 8, EEBL 0
    • Nottingham 0, Bracknell Inferno 18
    • WMBL 3, MK Boks 1
    • EEBL 7, BC Vetra II 10
    • BC Vetra II 8, Nottingham 2

The warmest day of the year featured the hottest baseball action so far this year. However, before the fog burnt off, the Northern Knights used the weather to their advantage and defeated BC Vetra, while the SW Rebeldes advanced following a matchup with the Bracknell Blazers. The Higher Division final was set as a North/South divide between the Southwest Rebeldes and the Northern Knights.

In the Lower Division, the West Midlands punched their ticket to the final by defeating BC Vetra II, while the MK Boks were victorious over the University of Nottingham, setting up a clash between the Boks and WMBL in the final.

With tournament organiser Christian Carter getting a few innings of pitching in for the Kent Bucs against Scotland and the East of England winning their first game in their final contest, there were many bright spots in the 5th/6th place games.

The Lower Division saw the MK Boks hold off a strong challenge from WMBL, with the Boks taking a 3-0 victory to clinch the title in a very close game featuring strong pitching on both sides. In the Higher Division final, the Rebeldes came out swinging with a four-run lead, thanks to some aggressive baserunning. The Northern Knights were able to battle back within one, until Jose Lopez of the Rebeldes put the game out of reach with a three-run double.

Final Seeding - Higher Division

  1. SW Rebeldes
  2. Northern Knights
  3. BC Vetra
  4. Bracknell Blazers
  5. Baseball Scotland
  6. Kent Buccaneers

Final Seeding - Lower Division

  1. Milton Keynes Boks
  2. West Midland Baseball League
  3. BC Vetra II
  4. University of Nottingham
  5. Bracknell Inferno
  6. East of England Fire Breathing Kittens

The weekend ended with a championship presentation, and awards to the MVP of each division. 15-year-old Josh Barrett, who threw a number of scoreless innings over the weekend (and would go on to be named BSUK Baseball Player of the Week) took home the Lower Division honour, while the Higher Division’s Jose Lopez took home the top prize for his play throughout the weekend, and especially in the Final.

Reflecting on the weekend, Kent Buccaneers GM, player and Battle for Britain organiser Christian Carter remarked, "The Battle for Britain has been a highlight on our [Kent Bucs] schedule for the past few years, and to have the event at Farnham Park this year, especially after the last 16 months, made it that much more special. Thank you to all the teams who traveled down to Buckinghamshire for the weekend, and congratulations to the Rebeldes and Boks!"

Chris Knoblock, BaseballSoftballUK’s Public Relations Officer & Sports Broadcaster, added, “After the last 16 months, it was absolutely fantastic to have Farnham Park buzzing with baseball all weekend. This weekend has shown the passion and appetite for baseball in the UK, and specifically at Farnham Park, and we look forward to hosting more events like this. Congratulations to the South West Rebeldes and the MK Boks, and a huge thank you to Christian Carter and the Kent Buccaneers for organising such a great weekend!”

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