The Herts Hawks hosted the Poole Piranhas after a two-week hiatus due to lack of rain, according to the ongoing hose-pipe ban policy. The old diamond at Grovehill, which is historically resilient to bad weather, was playable (bar a swimming pool in the visitor’s dugout, but, according to Hawks Co-Manager, Greg Bochan, “That’s why it is called the Visitors’ Dugout”.
Hawks were lucky enough to have several players on secondment, including Louis Hare, Kim Saionji, Arnie Longboy and Zach Longboy, and they were all needed. Despite getting off to a shaky start that resulted in the Piranhas taking a 5-0 lead in the first inning, Hare settled down on the mound (i.e. warmed up) and kept the Piranhas from getting away with the game. Unfortunately, the Piranhas’ pitcher was also on top form, throwing a lot of strikes and mixing in some knee-buckling curves with a difficult to hit fastball, and his defence, in particular the Poole short stop, held firm behind him. Auchterlounie, Saionji, Hare and later Zach Longboy all were able to get base hits off him, but the rest of the Herts bats were kept quiet and the first Hawks’ run came in after 4 innings.
The Hawks’ task was made more difficult when outfield dynamo Matt Johnston suffered a hamstring injury while attempting to steal second base. He had to be carried to the dugout and subsequently to the car park. The Hawks team will be hoping for his speedy recovery. Zach Longboy came in to replace him and did a great job, getting a base hit, but despite providing a creditable performance, turning a couple of double plays and staying in the game, Herts were unable to overcome the 5-run first inning deficit. The game finished Piranhas 9, Herts Hawks 4.
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Herts Hawks Co-Manager, Greg Bochan, felt that the Piranhas deserved the win. He said: “In the first inning there were a lot of cobwebs being knocked off by Louis who hasn’t pitched in a long while. On top of that there were a few errors. This gave Poole a 5-run lead. After the first inning we started to settle into the game and it was pretty close from there on in. Poole had really good pitching and they held on for the win.”
The Hawks travel to the Kent Mariners next Sunday, 13 May 2012. They will need the missing members of their team to be back quickly and return to winning ways if they want to stay in the race for the postseason playoffs.