The Herts Hawks notched up their first win of the season on Sunday when they travelled to play the Croydon Pirates III. The visitors trailed 7-2 at one point but staged an astonishing comeback to claim a 12-9 victory. Team Manager Greg Bochan pitched a complete game and got the win. In the second half of their double-header the Hawks were victims of a comeback by the Pirates. They led by two runs going into the final inning but went down 15-14.
The Herts Eagles – who play in the AAA Division — also claimed their first wins of the season, sweeping the Essex Redbacks in a double-header. Essex are new to the league this year but the Herts team took no mercy on them — veteran Darrin Ward was credited with the win in an opening 12-10 victory; Louis Hare claimed the W as the Eagles then extended their dominance with a 19-9 win.
The club’s rookie team, the Herts Raptors, continue to improve and to discover more talent in their ranks, although once again they fell short of a win against Guildford. Bryan Drummond pitched four solid innings before being substituted for first-time hurler Phil Gover. Raptors’ manager Ken Pike called the southpaw’s performance “pretty stunning”, and he was also pleased with his side’s improved hitting. Once the players got used to a bumpy infield and a strong wind, they were every bit a match for their hosts. Raptors went down 23-10 but Pike is increasingly optimistic about the future.
The news was not so good for the Herts Falcons of the elite National League. Their early-season struggles continued when they took on the Bracknell Blazers, the reigning national champions. In the first inning of the first game Herts gave up 11 runs, making the task all but impossible. The rest of the game was tight, but Falcons lost 13-2. In the second half of the match-up, 16 year old phenom Luis Goncalves pitched a brilliant game, keeping the Blazers off balance. But after four innings, fielding errors crept in and cost the team dear. This time Bracknell ran out 17-7 victors. Manager, Jason Greenberg, admitted it was disappointing day, but many players were away or injured and the Falcons hope to bounce back quickly and show the League what they can really do.