The Southampton Mustangs brought an end to the Falcons 4-game winning streak, but that setback was only temporary as the team from Herts quickly recovered to win the second game of the double-header.
Before today’s third round of NBL games the Herts Falcons were the only unbeaten team in Britain’s top league, however the Mustangs have proven to very difficult to beat over the last two years. Jordan Farkas started on the mound for Herts and he had another good outing allowing only 1 earned run, 4 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings which would usually be sufficient for a win, all else being equal. However, not all else was equal. The Herts defence had a particularly bad game committing 11 errors allowing 6 unearned runs to score.
The team looked to repair the damage offensively late in the game scoring 4 runs in the last 3 innings, including doubles from Cris Hiche, Liam Green, Dave Tretheway (2RBI) and Ryan Bird (2 RBI) who made his debut in a Herts jersey. That late rally wasn’t enough and the Falcons went down 7-5. Alberto Rodriguez picked up the win for the Mustangs.
Mike Osborn started on the mound in game two looking to make it 3 wins in 3 games on the mound this season. He pitched a complete game allowing only 2 earned runs on 8 hits and 1 walk. The Falcons defence had regained its composure after the nightmare in the first game. The South African duo of Dave Tretheway (3B RBI) and Ryan Bird (2B and 2 RBI) once again delivered big extra-base hits for the team. Jordan Farkas and Kimiyoshi Saionji also contributed with the bats driving in 3 ore runs. The 3 runs scored in the top of the final inning gave the team a little extra insurance for Mike Osborn to complete the game and confirm a 7-3 win for the Falcons.
Herts Falcons Manager, Lee Manning, felt that the results of both games were fair. “Southampton deserved to win the first game. We deserved to win the second. The wind played a big part causing major problems throughout the game. We made far too many errors in game one. We came back well in the second game and we now have to turn our attention to the next games against the London Mets” said Manning.
The team remains top of the NBL standings. However, they are now neck-and-neck with the reigning Champions, the Harlow Nationals, who swept the Essex Arrows and now have 5 wins and 1 loss, same as the team from Hertfordshire.