The Herts Falcons (12-4) are in the middle of a 6-week period during which they face their direct opponents in the race for the National Baseball League title. They won 3 of their last 4 games against the Harlow Nationals (13-4) and the Southampton Mustangs (12-5) last Sunday.
In both of these series their opponents came to Grovehill Ballpark as the team with the best defence (fewest runs allowed per game) in the league while the Falcons were the team with the best offence (most runs scored per game). Something had to give and it did. The Falcons bats drove in 24 runs putting a major dent in the Nationals runs allowed per game which stood at 4.30 before that weekend and they were no longer the best defence after that. Next up came the Mustangs. They had overtaken the Nationals as the team with the best defence but once again the Herts offence was too hot to handle scoring 27 runs in that doubleheader.
We have the same scenario this coming Sunday. The London Mets (10-3) come to Grovehill Ballpark having surged up the standings to within 1 game of the league leaders Harlow. They are now officially the team with the best defence with an impressive 4.46 runs allowed per game. Will defence prevail on this occasion or will the Falcons bats strike again for the third week in a row?
The London Mets are the only team yet to face the Herts Falcons this season and it promises to be a colossal duel. The two teams did meet in the Herts Spring League in March and the Falcons still have the bruises to prove it as Mets starting pitcher Pietro Sollecito shut the Herts offence down with a 7-0 win in that game. This Sunday the Falcons will be eager to prove that this was just a spring training glitch. First pitch is at 12pm.
24 HOURS EARLIER
In fact the London vs Herts rivalry gets going 24 hours earlier with a London vs Herts doubleheader in the British U17 League. London are the reigning national champions at U17 level and they have a clear lead in the standings so far this season with a record of 10-2. However they come into the games after a loss to the Cobham Cougars just to prove that they are human after all.
There are more youth league games at Grovehill Ballpark on Saturday. LYBL come to town to face the Herts U14 team in a repeat of last year’s National Final. Many of the Herts players from last year have moved into the U17 age group so this is a chance for the new generation of U14 players to carry the Herts flag. In the U11 bracket the Dodgers and the Giants series resume. They are tied 1-1.
RAPTORS AND HAWKS WITH POSTSEASON AMBITIONS
The Herts Raptors travel to Tonbridge on Sunday looking to build further momentum after their 14-5 win against the Eagles last week. The Herts Hawks return after 3 weeks of rest. They host the Brentwood Stags in a AA-League doubleheader in what is proving to be a very close race for the postseason playoffs.