Hamina was undefeated in an action packed day that saw the men’s and women’s teams play 2 games each. Whilst the women’s team tied their opening game against Pesä Ysit, the remaining 3 games ended in victory for the orange-shirts. Training games are still being played without an audience; however all of the games played on Saturday (6 in total!) were available to watch on a live-stream on YouTube.
Hamina v Loimaa
1-0 (2-1, 1-1)
In the men’s first game, Hamina edged ahead of Loimaa to claim a narrow victory. The team were without a few key players, including Henri Heikkilä; however the game gave game manager Petri Tuuva a chance to try out different approaches to the lineup. Juha Leskinen’s hit to the midfield line put Hamina ahead after a misfield by Loimaa in the first inning of the first period. Leskinen added a second run to the scoreboard in the second inning with a powerful line drive to left field. Hamina defended their lead well, only conceding 1 run to Loimaa from a solid hit straight to centre field in the third inning. Despite winning the first period, Hamina had to come from 0-1 behind to tie the second period. The run finally came off Perttu Toikka’s hit towards the right shortstop, which Loimaa again struggled to field cleanly.
Hamina v KPL
2-0 (3-0, 3-0)
In the final game of the day, Hamina scored an impressive victory over rivals KPL. KPL’s Ykköspesis team saw Elias Pitkänen in the lineup as a joker: a name that will be familiar to fans. Pitkänen was in a unique position in Superpesis last year, where he pitched for Hamina against KPL and then later in the season pitched for KPL against Hamina. Hamina kept their rivals from scoring in both periods to end the day with a perfect record. Juha Leskinen was the first batter to bring a runner home to score in the first period, but there were some solid performances up and down the lineup throughout the game. Roope Koskelainen’s hit to deep right field added two more runs to Hamina’s tally in the third inning of the first period, effectively ending KPL’s hopes of a comeback. Early in the second period things started to look slightly worrying when Koskelainen picked up an injury running to third base. After a short break, Jere Heikkilä hit the ball deep into the outfield to lighten the tension and make the score 1-0. A “ground rule double” by Lassi Vuorela made it 2-0 before KPL had the chance to pick up a bat. The final run of the day came off the bat of Elias Lahti, who launched the ball into left field in the fourth inning.
Hamina have put 2021 in the back of their minds as they started their training matches this weekend. The games were the first chance for the team to put their game plan into action since they started training on 6th November. A number of new faces joined the famous Orange-shirts during the winter in the quest for promotion to Superpesis, but this was their
first chance to experience real game situations. The men’s and women’s teams had very different seasons in 2021, with the men’s team failing to retain their place in Superpesis after a number of unfortunate injuries and circumstances. The women’s team on the other hand very nearly made it to Superpesis for the coming season and made their first appearance in the playoffs since they were promoted to Superpesis in 2005. Both teams are now focussed on achieving promotion and hope to really celebrate the 100 year anniversary season with a bang.
One of the new faces in the men’s team is Petri Tuuva who takes over as game manager for 2022. Tuuva has experience as game manager for IPV in the 2017 and 2018 seasons, before becoming Kitee’s game manager in 2020. After the games, Petri offered his thoughts on how the team performed:
“The whole team showed good performance especially in the infield, who succeeded very well. Many players who played numbers (1-9) managed to hit the runs with high-quality hits. This is very positive that not all scoring hits are on Juha Leskinen's shoulders. The first game was a little slimmer and there were also more sign errors. The positive thing was a good defensive game and in the outfield we didn’t make easy mistakes. When there was a place to make an out, it was done. There was room for improvement in the quality of the short hits, we were weak in that today.”
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