NEW BRITAIN – Over the last five games the New Britain Bees and the Norwich Sea Unicorns have shown just how tightly contested the Future Collegiate Baseball League is this summer. The Bees and the Sea Unicorns took the finale of their five-game series and turned it into a slugfest. It took all nine innings for the Bees to secure the rubber match, 11-10 in walk-off fashion, and take a two-game lead in the season series.
The two sides traded wins in each of the first four games of this stretch going back to Thursday. Each team continued to match the other on Tuesday as there were seven lead changes in the game including a run scored in each of the last three half innings building toward an 11-10 walk-off win for the Bees.
After scoring six runs in each of the first three games of this stretch, New Britain saw an uptick in offense over the last two games, breaking 10 and 11 runs across in back-to-back wins. Bees manager Matt Gedman noted after the win that the biggest advantage when playing a team this many times is the familiarity with your opposition’s pitching staff. The Bees even saw pitchers Tim Cotter and Zach Lopez in consecutive games on Sunday and Tuesday. That duo allowed a combined six runs and nine hits over less than three innings of work on Tuesday.
Shortstop Christian Holmes had perhaps the best day among all Bees in their offensive explosion. Holmes finished his day 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Two of his hits and runs also came at the expense of Lopez and the Sea Unicorns.
“After playing multiple games against them, they know what you like, what you don’t like and where your weaknesses are,” Holmes said. “It’s also a factor on defense as we’ve gotten to know some of their hitters and where they hit the ball.”
Although New Britain could have taken a big step in separating themselves from the pack during this series, Gedman explained how the adversity can help his team down the stretch.
“They’re a really good ballclub and I enjoy the fact that it’s two really good offenses going against each other,” Gedman said. “It makes us better for the long run.”
The Bees have three games left this summer against the Sea Unicorns, including one later this week. Until then, however, they’ll have to turn their attention to the hottest team in the FCBL – the Nashua Silver Knights. The Knights will head into town Wednesday night before the Sea Unicorns come back for one last go around until August 4.
New Britain will play eight of their next 12 at home leading up to the FCBL Home Run Derby and All-Star Game to be held at New Britain Stadium for the second-straight season.