GOETZ GOES THE DISTANCE AS HAWKS BEAT DRAGONS
Herts Hawks made the best possible start of the season with a convincing win against the Richmond Dragons. They found themselves trailing 4-3 going into the bottom of the fourth inning, but they found an extra gear after that.
Starting pitcher Nic Goetz did not allow any more runs putting up zeros on the scoreboard in the remaining 5 innings. He pitched a complete game allowing only 5 hits and struck out 14 Richmond batters. Offensively the Hawks did not have their best day and only Jon Lewys and Kal Dimitrov had multiple hits in the game, but some very aggressive base running meant that once players got on base they were quickly advancing into scoring positions and crossing home plate. Last year Ilya Dimitrov was the Hawks Stolen Base king with 37 steals. Paul Auchterlounie and Nick Russell are already looking to smash that record after taking 4 stolen bases each.
Next Sunday, 22 April the Hawks travel South to play against the Croydon Pirates III.
EAGLES MAKE A WINNING RETURN TO THE LEAGUE
Herts Eagles opened up the 2012 season with a convincing win over the Richmond Dukes. The Eagles’ last game was in September 2010 in the Semi-Final of the AAA National Championships. After an absence last year, the team is back in the A-League this season.
With so many new players featured in the Eagles roster Manager Duncan Hoyle will have the difficult task of building a team from scratch and judging by their performance on Opening Day, they are on the right track already.
Solid defensive play and tight pitching from debutant Reagan Wood and Theo Scheepers restricted the Dukes to just 6 runs. Wood has played for Herts in previous seasons but only in the end-of-season Hunlock Series. It looks like this season he is in for the full season which is good news for Herts.
Offensively Geoff Thomas led the way with 5 runs scored, followed by Senna Ashida and Reagan Wood with 4 runs each. Reagan Wood also starred with 4 RBI and 3 hits, one of which nearly went for a home run, but agonisingly hit the top half of the fence in left field.
The final score was 28-6 and it could have been even more one-sided but the game was called before completion at the request of the Dukes. The Herts Eagles play at home again next Sunday as they welcome the Guildford Mavericks II.
Apart from the positive news on the field of play, there was news coming out of the Eagles clubhouse as well. Manager Duncan Hoyle confirmed that David Ames and Geoff Thomas have been appointed as joint assistant managers of the Eagles for this season.
The Herts Raptors and London Marauders were the only two teams in the A-League who were not involved on Opening Day. They took the opportunity to have one final Spring Training game before the start of their 2012 campaign next Sunday. The Raptors dominated the game from the start and although this win means nothing in terms of the League standings, this is a good confidence boost for the Raptors and raises expectations. Could 2012 prove to be the year when a Herts team reaches the A-League postseason for the first time? The show begins for them next Sunday at Grovehill Ballpark against the Essex RedBacks III who impressed in the Herts Spring League.