THEY needed two victories out of two and that’s exactly what they delivered as Milton Keynes Bucks secured the AA Midlands League title on Sunday.
Bucks were looking to extend their incredible 14-1 record this season to take the title, but weren’t expecting an easy ride as defending champions Leicester Blue Sox were the visitors to Woughton-on-the-Green for an all important double-header.
Victory would not only see Bucks win their regional league, but also set them up for a shot at the National Championships. But the first game didn’t get off to the best of starts as Bucks’ pitchers struggled to make their mark and the Sox capitalised well to take the lead.
Although the hosts managed to put some runs together, Leicester didn’t make it easy and took advantage of some sloppy play.
It seemed like Bucks’ celebrations would be delayed as they struggled to put any solid offense together, but their determination and persistence eventually prevailed.
Jon Reynolds was called in as relief pitcher for the struggling Bucks and helped turn the game as he silenced the Sox offense to give the hosts a platform to launch their attack and take the first game 23-13.
With half of their mission complete, the champagne was put on ice in anticipation of a second win which would confirm their status of league champions.
But once again, Sox gave them an uncomfortable time as they fought to silence Bucks’ batters. They looked off the pace and perhaps already had an eye on the prize.
Despite their wobble, Bucks heads never went down as they continued to battle on and some great team-work would eventually get them through.
After staging their recovery, Bucks went into the final inning needing two runs to win the match and take the title.
Star man Tamaki Tachikawa proved the hero by firing off the winning run to give Bucks an 11-10 win, securing the league championship with four games of the regular season still to play.