Last weekend’s baseball action was wiped out by the rain. Hertfordshire’ top team, the Falcons, travelled South to the magnificent Pavilion Field in Brighton only to find a flooded home plate and base areas. Both Herts and their hosts, the Burgess Hill Red Hats, tried frantically to remove the standing water – and they succeeded – but unfortunately it had already caused sufficient damage to make the ground too soft and unstable, which raised the risk of injuries. With the Falcons having clinched a Final 4 place and the Red hats already out of contention, the games would not affect the standings and the officials chose to postpone the game in view of the hazardous ground conditions.
The hosts from Burgess Hill were very generous in allowing the Falcons to use Pavilion Field to have a practice session in preparation for the Final 4 so it was not a completely wasted afternoon although travelling from Hertfordshire to Brighton for a training session was not ideal.
We are now officially into the 2008 postseason with Britain’s top baseball teams battling it out for silverware on 6 and 7 September. The winners of all four British Baseball Leagues will be decided in one action-packed weekend. Here is the line-up in the respective Leagues:
British National league Finalists: London Mets, Richmond Flames, Manchester Eagles, Menwith Hill Patriots
British AAA Finalists: Herts Falcons, Oxford Kings, Humber Pilots, London Metros
British AA Finalists: Manchester A’s, Bournemouth Sharks, Enfield Sidewinders, Birmingham Maple Leafs
British A Finalists: Croydon Pirates III, Old Timers
A full Falcons squad will be heading to Roundshaw Playing Fields in Croydon and every member of the team is fully fit. The Falcons will be supported by their loyal fans who have followed the team up and down the country all season long.
For the Falcons it all starts on Saturday at 12:00pm on the Main Diamond in Croydon when they meet their old rivals the Humber Pilots, winners of the AAA Northern Division (13-9). The two teams met last year once again in the Final 4 but at AA level. 12 months later both teams have made the successful adjustment to the much higher standards of the AAA League. The Falcons will be looking to settle old scores after losing 8-5 last time around. If the Falcons overcome the Pilots they will go to the Final on Sunday at 2pm and once again it is likely to be played on the Main Diamond. Their opponents will be the winner of the other semi-final between the Oxford Kings and the London Metros.
In the other Divisions there will be two ex-Herts players who have managed to reach the Final 4. Both of them are leftie pitchers. Paul Raybould will be wearing the Old Timers jersey in the Single-A Final against the Croydon Pirates III. In the AA Division, Bruce “the Big Unit” Dullea, now of the Enfield Sidewinders, will be looking to go one better than he did with the Falcons in 2007 and win the trophy.