You can learn a lot of surprising things from following @hertsbaseball on twitter or HertsBaseballClub on facebook.
Sure, you get the latest results from the Herts baseball community, including the Eagles’ recent 31-30 triumph over the Raptors. (As our friends at Southampton Mustangs commented, when did Herts switch to playing American football?)
But you also pick up snippets of news from the baseball world outside the HP postcode area. Such as the story that Prince Harry hit a ball out of the park when visiting a team in New York. Or the revelation that David Cameron has been mugging up on baseball books to prepare for his latest meeting with President Obama. Clearly, we need to sign Harry up for the Raptors, and I’m sure Coach Mike can find a role for the PM as assistant U11 coach.
While those negotiations are ongoing, our existing coaching staff continues its work in developing this promising group of Under-11s. And so to the third game in the Giants v Dodgers series, on 18th May. The series was tied 1-1, after the Giants recorded a 7-6 win the previous week.
This time the Giants were the visitors and first up. On the mound: Alex Trautman. Nicholas Durer got the scoring underway with a triple, bringing Christian Lynch home for an RBI. Three strike-outs later, the Dodgers had a chance to reply, as Lewis Auchterlounie made his pitching debut for the Giants. After Alex Trautman reached on error, Lucas Lebrato hit a line drive to the fence and got right round the bases before the Giants were able to get the ball back to the catcher. 2-1 Dodgers.
Top of the second – Lewis Auchterlounie drove in a double, and Alex Jones hit a single to move Lewis to third. Alex turned to run for second, but was tagged out, although this allowed Lewis to reach home base for the Giants’ second run. After detailed post-game consultations regarding rule 10.04, the scorers, perhaps harshly, declined to grant Alex the RBI in this case.
Christian Lynch pitched the second inning for the Giants. A strikeout and two professional-looking groundouts between third baseman Josh Jones and first baseman Nicholas Durer kept the Dodgers scoreless. 2-2.
Back to the top of the order for the Giants. Nicholas Durer hit another double, and made it to home base on error after a single from Ben Jupp. For the Dodgers, Alex Trautman, Lucas Lebrato, Joe Gipple, Noah Haines and Rory Vangundy all hit singles, resulting in three runs to bring the score to 5-3 Dodgers.
In the fourth, both teams had runners in scoring position but couldn’t add to their totals.
In the fifth and final inning, the Giants hit their stride. With Lucas Lebrato now pitching, Josh Jones singled, and Ben Jupp hit a ground rule double. These two made it home on the next play after a couple of errors in the field, to tie the score. At this point, Lucas had struck out two Giants batters, and the Giants had two runners in scoring position. The match hung in the balance. Then Alex Jones singled for an RBI and the Giants had a one-run lead.
Maybe it was the tension, or maybe a little tiredness was creeping in. But the Dodgers seemed to be losing their edge in the field; a string of errors allowed the Giants to score two more, and load the bases once again. Josh Jones then drove in a two-RBI single, and suddenly the Giants were up 10-5.
This proved too much for the Dodgers, who were scoreless in the final inning under pressure from some accurate pitching from Josh Jones.
The Giants and Dodgers now combine forces to represent Herts in under-11 games at an event in Richmond on Saturday 25th May. Results for those games, together with other important breaking news stories, will be available on your social network of choice.