by Joe Selfe, hertsbaseball.com
With the BBF’s recent release of the league schedule for the AA and A Leagues, Herts Baseball Club is now very pleased to be able to set the season for the Herts Hawks, Raptors and the newly reformed Herts Eagles teams.
The Hawks, retaining their place in the AA league will open up on the 15th April at home against the Richmond Dragons. The fixture last year saw the Hawks triumph as part of their strong finish to the 2011 season. The Eagles, newly reformed in the BBF’s A league, will also entertain a Richmond side, the Dukes, on what should be a fantastic opening day at Grovehill Ballpark. The Herts Raptors, also competing in the A league this season will have to wait until the following week to get their season underway, entertaining the Essex Redbacks which will also take place at Grovehill Ballpark.
The largest tier of British Baseball, the AA league, will this year see a total of 24 teams competing to become national champions. With such a fantastic intake, the league has adopted a geographical split into four sub divisions of North, Midlands, South Pool A and South Pool B. Situated in the southern section of the league, the Hawks season will concern the final two pools where notable changes and additions include the Southampton Mustangs 2 who have moved up from the A league while the Essex Archers drop down. The Latin Tigers are also replacing their affiliated Latin Boys who have stepped up to AAA and there are two new teams in the shape of the London Mammoths and Daws Hill Spitfires. Placed in South Pool B will see the Hawks compete in a 7 innings double header against each of their pool opponents who include the: Essex Redbacks (H); Kent Mariners (A); London Mammoths (H); Brentwood Stags (H); Sidewinders (A) and Daws Hill Spitfires (A). A single 9 innings match will then be played against each member of South Pool A which includes the: Richmond Dragons (H);Croydon Pirates III (A); Latin Tigers (A); Guildford Mavericks AA (H); Thames Valley Bisons (A); Southampton Mustangs 2 (A) and completing their 23 match season at home to the Poole Pirates on 5th August. It is assumed, that as with previous seasons, the most successful of the North and Midlands Pools, comprising of six and five teams respectively, will join those top of the southern pools in the postseason to decide the overall national champion.
With the recent addition of the Herts Eagles, the A League will this season comprise of 11 teams and operate as a straight 11 team league. As well as the Eagles and Archers, the A league welcomes Hove Tuesday to the BBF and the newly formed Richmond Dukes. With no league divide, the Raptors and Eagles will compete against each of their opponents once in a single 9 innings match resulting in a ten match regular season. In addition to the teams stated above, this will include games against the: Guildford Mavericks A; Old Timers; Tonbridge Bobcats; Braintree Rays and the London Marauders. The big A League season date for all Herts fans and both the Raptor and Eagle teams however will be their face off taking place on 17th July, where a strong crowd and competitive spirit will be expected!
Pushing for Success
The BBF calendar also has a London Tournament scheduled for the 15th of July for all the teams to look forward to as well as the chance for further games in the postseason. For now though, Herts will be keen to ensure that both the Hawks and Raptors can build on their strong end to last season and that the Eagles can join them in getting off to a flying start in their return to the BBF. With preparation well underway for the fast approaching new season, we hope to see all three teams soaring high in their respective leagues before long.This article was written by Joe Selfe, who is the newest addition to the hertsbaseball.com media team. Over the course of the season he and the rest of the team will be bringing you all the latest news from Herts and from around the British baseball leagues. hertsbaseball.com is constantly looking to add to its media roster. If you are interested to join the team, in any role please contact us. Some of the roles include: reporter embedded with one of the Herts teams; blogger for our “Opinion” section; event correspondent; Herts TV and radio host or member of the TV/Radio production staff, MLB correspondent, British Leagues correspondent etc.