The Herts Falcons debut in the Premier division of the British Baseball Federation leagues was a successful one, as they ran out 11 – 7 winners over Sidewinders Baseball Club of Enfield.


Once again strong pitching was in evidence as Takashi Hirai started on the mound for the Falcons, and he was backed up by a solid defensive display as neither side were able to score in the first 3 innings.

In the fourth inning, the Falcons were able to scrape together enough hits to bring in one run, but Sidewinders came right back into the game and scored one of their own.

The game was surrounded by controversy in the 5th inning. With Sidewinders batting the score was still tied at 1-1. With a man on third base and only one out they were threatening, when a deep fly ball to left field was caught by Japanese import Kimiyoshi Saionji. The man at third base headed for home but an excellent relay to Denison at third and then to Manning at home plate appeared to have the runner dead. The umpire had a different view and called the runner safe, much to the disgust of the entire Falcons team.

The extra run didn’t matter however. In the 6th inning, with the Sidewinders starting pitcher beginning to tire, the Falcons began to put some more hits together, and scored three to take the lead 4 – 2. Denison relieved Hirai on the mound for the Sidewinders half of the 6th, and once again Falcons were hauled back to 4 – 4. They responded again, scoring in the 7th and 8th inning to take a commanding 11 –  5 lead. In the Sidewinders’ 9th inning, the first two batters reached base which resulted in Denison being pulled from the mound and Bruce Dullea relieving. Three ground balls to Todd Nightingale at second base who threw to first and the inning, and the game was over.


A successful start to the new season, with excellent performances from Nightingale, Shunji Kakutani in right field, Takashi Hirai on the mound, and Kyle Hunlock in centre field.

Next week, a long trip to Shropshire awaits the Falcons, as they look to build on this excellent start.

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