The rains of the last few weeks seemed a distant memory, as the Herts U11s met up on a baking hot Saturday at Grovehill. Given the amount of playing time lost in recent weeks, the coaches felt that it would be worth spending some time on the training ground. The squad went through a variety of drills, working on both offensive and defensive skills.
Once the players had taken a much-needed water break, it was time for the Dodgers to face the Giants in a continuation of this long-running Herts classic.
After a hitless first inning from the Dodgers, the Giants took an early lead. A succession of Giants batters collected base hits, and Jamie Clarke claimed the RBI single.
The tables were turned in the second inning. The Dodgers showed more of their offensive calibre, batting around and picking up three runs. Defensively, the Dodgers then forced out runners at third in two successive plays to shut out the Giants.
The Dodgers piled on the runs in the third – the pick of the batters was Nicholas Durer, who hit a monster ground rule double to the centre field fence. Ozan Martin joined in the fun with a double to left field. The Giants were unlucky to that their batters picked out Dodgers fielders, as Nicholas Durer and Katie Everex-Armstrong claimed outs at first and third.
Six runs down at the bottom of the fourth, the Giants needed to find some hits. Leading off, Lewis Auchterlounie pulled out a double down the third base line, and scored when Oliver Durer made a base hit. Rose Burgess-Van Dort and Talia Martin reached first on a fielder’s choice, while Noah Lynch scored the Giants’ third run. Jamie Clark was called out for leaving the base path between second and third – at one point it looked like he was heading for the car park.
By now, the sun was beating down, and at least one supporter had retired to seek a shadier spot. But the players refused to wilt. In the final inning, a powerful line drive from Katie Everex-Armstrong produced another ground-rule double. Ozan Martin and Katie scored after Alex Jones, Nicholas Durer and Rory Vangundy got on base, and Alex Jones reached home to claim his third run.
In reply, Lewis Auchterlounie hit his second double of the day, into his favourite spot over third base. Noah Lynch picked up a single, and Jamie Clark hit into right field to bring home Lewis for the RBI. But it was too little, too late for the Giants as a final strikeout brought the game to a close with the Dodgers 10-4 winners.
In truth, there was little between the two sides, and on another day with a little more luck for the Giants the scoreline could be reversed. This was a fun game, and it was good to see everyone making a contribution, from the youngest members of the squad to the more experienced players.
GAMECAST – IN CASE YOU MISSED THE GAME OR WANT TO SEE IT AGAIN
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