Herts is one of the biggest baseball organisations in Great Britain but has had a nightmare start of the 2011 season. At last, the club’s barren spell has ended and the first league win for a Herts team in 2011 came at the weekend, form an unlikely source.
After four weeks of league action the three Herts teams competing in the senior leagues each found themselves with the unenviable record of four losses out of four games. In total this translates into twelve unsuccessful attempts to end the losing streak.
All three Herts senior teams were at home this weekend and with the Herts Under-14 and Under-17 teams starting their British League campaigns the Herts baseball family was hopeful that the nightmare run would end. Similar to Hollywood movies like Major League and Bull Durham, members of Herts prepared for the weekend exercising all kinds of superstitions from wearing unusual type of underwear, or none at all, to continuing not to shave until the losing streak ends. Some even considered sacrificing a live chicken. Thankfully the chicken was spared as the Herts Under-14 All Stars won their opening game of the season against their bitter rivals the London Mets U14. Brodie Caress was the starting pitcher who picked up the win. Jonathan Fretheim came in to close the game in style striking out all three Mets batters to end the game. Both Caress and Fretheim delivered the final blow to the Mets each hitting a 3-run home run deep over the outfield wall. The second game of the double-header was won 21-10 by the London Mets.
At the same time on the other side of Grovehill Ballpark the Herts Under-17 team also opened their season against the London Mets U-17. This season Herts enter a baseball team into the U-17 British league for the first time in its history and with the majority of the players aged 13 and 14 it was always going to be an uphill task as they came up against the reigning Under-17 British Champions who include accomplished players who are 2 or 3 years older than them. Despite this, Herts put up a brave fight especially in game two. They may have lost both games, but this was a good opportunity for the future stars of Herts Baseball to see what the target is for them over the next few years. The final scores of the two Under-17 League games were 19-2 and 23-10 in favour of the Mets.
While this was taking place the Herts Giants and the Herts Dodgers clashed as part of the Herts regional league schedule for the Under-12s. The Giants won it 18-17 with a dramatic walk off hit to extend their lead in the Herts Minor League standings.
On Sunday it was the turn of the Herts senior teams. The Herts Falcons were missing key players, Troy Linton, Jamie Munn and Liam Green who was resting after pitching in the Under-17 league game 24 hours earlier, but even if that wasn’t the case it would have been difficult to stop the powerful batting lineup of the Mildenhall Bulldogs who won both games deservedly. Despite the loss there were many positives for the Falcons to take out of the game as they go into a crucial game against the Croydon Pirates next Sunday.
The Herts Hawks were also at home. This time they welcomed the newly promoted Guildford Mavericks. Although the Hawks can have no complaints about the loss, it was very much a missed opportunity as the team had a commanding lead halfway through the game and let it slip away from them at the end.
The weekend was completed with the Single-A League game between the London Marauders and the Herts Raptors. The boys from Herts suffered another loss, but that will not dampen the enthusiasm of the team. Some struggling teams like to approach one game at a time and this principle applies to the Raptors as well. The team is a work-in-progress but the day when they will be ready to seriously challenge their opponents is not too far away. Until then, the team may have to approach one inning at a time rather than one game at a time.
12:00, Sun, 29 May, Croydon Pirates @ Herts Falcons (NBL) (Grovehill Ballpark, Herts)
11:00, Sat, 28 May, Herts All Stars U17 @ Essex RedBacks U17 (Chelmsford, Essex)
11:00, Sat, 28 May, Herts All Stars U14 @ Essex RedBacks U14 (Chelmsford, Essex)