written by Duncan Hoyle
Herts Eagles had a confidence boosting 1h45 min timed friendly win at neighbours MK Bucks Development Team on Sunday.
The first problem for the Eagles was the closure of the M1, which meant a detour through grid locked Dunstable to get onto the A5. However it was worth the effort to get there as MK’s lovely Woughton on the Green ground has arguably the smoothest fielding surface in British Baseball.
Herts batted first and got 3 runs on the board in the first innings to give new signing GB U15 international Tom Everex-Armstrong a good platfrom to defend from the mound, and he got off to a great start by closing out the first without conceding a run. Everex-Armstrong is looking for some game time before he jets off to Canada for the U15 World Championship and he will be a big boost to the lineup for the Eagles next league fixture, a trip to unbeaten Hove Tuesday.
In the second, MK Bucks fought back hard, limiting the Eagles to just an extra run added, and then scoring 8 of their own. The Eagles didnt help themselves in this half inning when a number of opportunites to get outs were wasted.
A quick team talk did the job for the Eagles as they got back on it in the 3rd. It was good to see rookie players Simon Roberts and Mike Cresswell looking confident at the plate and getting hits to their name in the top half. Everex-Armstrong conceded just a couple of runs in the bottom to keep the game finely balanced.
With the AA MK Bucks and their opponents the Stourbridge Titans eagley awating the finale of the game so they could take the field for their league game, the Eagles were positive in the top half of the fourth with Theo Scheepers, Reagan Wood and Tak Ashida coming in to score, batted in with a tremendous triple from the impressive Everex-Armstrong. It was then left to another U15 Will Zucker to close and save the game for the Eagles. Zucker was excellent, pitching fast and straight to concede just one run and close the game out within 20 pitches. The challenge next season for Zucker is to follow in the footsteps of Everex-Armstrong and push for GB recognision as he clearly has the potential for this.
The Eagles now face a busy July in which they still have a chance of making the post season playoffs. Two league games sandwich the London Tournament in which due to the other Herts teams having to reschedule fixtures becasue of rained off matches it looks like it will be the Eagles representing the club on the 14th and 15th July.