report by Kal Dimitrov
The Herts Hawks faced the South London Pirates for a double header in the AA League South.
AA League (Game1) Herts Hawks 18 South London Pirates 2 (click to view box scores)
The first game was a one-sided affair, as the Pirates proved unable to adjust to the cunning pitches of Andy Slater, who went on to pitch five innings, giving up 2 runs, none of them earned. He was helped by a steady defence, with some spectacular plays by Carlos Casal Jr at short and Ilya Dimitrov in centerfield. The Hawks were able to mount some big rallies, capped by an inside-the-park-3-run-home-run by co-manager Andy Cornish. The game ended in 5 innings.
AA League (Game2) Herts Hawks 19 South London Pirates 8 (click to view box scores)
The second game started better for the Pirates, who had a one-run lead into the third inning facing Slater, who remained on the mound until all the gas could be squeezed out of him. An astute managerial decision resulted in Greg Bochan coming in on the mound and Conner Brown taking his place at third. Neither disappointed, with Conner making steady plays as well as attempting a spectacular diving catch in foul territory. Bochan, in the meantime, came up and did not allow a single run for the rest of the game, with 3 strikeouts and some handy plays, including a couple of outfield catches by John Kjorstad and one by Tomasz Kosak. The Hawks put together some steady hitting from the fourth inning on, with particularly good performance by Ilya Dimitrov who went 4 for 5 in the game with 5 RBIs, Greg Bochan – 3 for 4, and tireless running by Carlos Casal Jr., Jose Morillo and Conner Brown.
The two wins mean that the Hawks have a .500 winning percentage and move into the playoff zone. The top two AA South teams at the end of the regular season will go through to the quarter finals while the teams finishing between third and sixth place will have to go through an extra playoff round. If the regular season ended today, the Herts Hawks would have to face the Daws Hill Spitfires. There are 6 more games to be played in the regular season.