The Herts Hawks ended the 2007 season with a disappointing 7-12 record, but after this first spring training game it already looks like they will be taking the scalps of many Division 1 teams this season. Their opponents were the Cityslick Sidewinders who last year played in the Premier League which is one division above the Hawks in the British Baseball League pyramid. The Hawks won convincingly 12-3.
Starting on the mound was Darrin Ward, a familiar face to every British baseball fan. He has signed up with Herts Baseball Club from the Milton Keynes Hurricanes and it already looks like he will be playing a key role for the club this year. A combination of speed, control and movement kept the Sidewinders off-balance. Statistics are only available for the first 5 innings of the game. Over those innings Ward allowed only 1 hit with 0.00 ERA and 4 strike-outs (53 strikes, 27 balls, 3 walks).
Another great addition to the club will be the double punch of Luis and Humberto Goncalves who played at short stop and first base, respectively. Luis Goncalves’ smooth fielding mechanics will certainly make teams stand up and take notice. His father Humberto came in with the power, causing havoc with every one of his at bats including a towering Home Run deep to left centerfield almost hitting the Falcons players who were warming up on the adjacent football field.
After a year’s absence on paternity leave, it was a pleasure to see Ross Asquith back in a Herts shirt. He certainly has not lost any of his lightning speed and worked well alongside centerfielder, Paul Auchterlounie.
Several players in the Hawks roster were unavailable so Hunter Devine and Jonathon Lewys received a last minute call-up to the Hawks. It would not be a surprise to see them again with the Hawks this season if they continue their fantastic progress.
See Hawks Photos section for more photos from this game