There was a very visible relief on the faces of everyone connected with Herts Baseball on Sunday. The club’s top team, the Herts Falcons, finally broke the curse that has been hanging over the team since the Opening Day of the season.
The team went into the game against the Croydon Pirates bottom of the NBL standings with no wins and six losses. They got off to a perfect start taking a commanding lead early. Darrin Ward pitched a complete game allowing only 1 earned run on 4 hits, striking out 3. Ward also contributed for the Falcons win offensively. He went 2-for-4 which included a 2-run homerun deep over the wall in left centerfield and against a blustery wind blowing in from left field.
Alexander von Rosenbach also hit a 2-run home run in the sixth inning, but by then the Falcons had the game in the bag leading 10-3, and that’s how it ended.
Game 2 promised to be a much tougher encounter with Croydon starter Tim Ssali taking the mound. Croydon were leading 2-1 going into the bottom of the third, when Herts broke out with a game-changing 7-run inning. They didn’t look back after that and won with a final score of 13-3. Troy Linton, from Berkhamstead, had another good day causing havoc every time he stepped up to bat. Louis Hare also stood out going 3-for-3 in game two, with 1 RBI. But Hare will probably be more pleased with his work on the pitching mound. Like Ward, he allowed only 1 earned run and he also showed a lot of composure with bases loaded and no one out to ruin the Pirates’ hopes.
This is the first time that the Falcons win two games in a row since 18 April 2010 when they swept the Southampton Mustangs at home. A 6-game losing streak was ended on Sunday and a 2-game winning streak was started. How quickly things can turn in baseball. Can the Falcons keep the winning streak going? The odds are against them as next they will face the London Mets who are the hot favourites for the title. The game will be part of a National Baseball League event at Grovehill Ballpark involving six NBL teams.
NBL DAY AT GROVEHILL BALLPARK, SUNDAY, 5 JUNE 2011
11:00 Essex Arrows v Lakenheath Diamondbacks
12:30 Herts Falcons v London Mets
14:00 Southern Nationals vs Mildenhall