The Herts Falcons won their home doubleheader versus the Essex Redbacks to end the regular season on top of the National Baseball League, for the first time in the club’s 17-year history. They finish with a record of 24 wins and 4 losses. The London Mets (23-5) and the Southampton Mustangs (23-5) finished a game behind, but it is the Mets who clinch second place on the tie-break rule (head-to-head record between the two teams). This means that London join Herts to go through to the Semi-Finals, while Southampton have to go through the quarter-finals of the Playoffs, despite an outstanding regular season which they ended on a 16-game winning streak.
The Falcons beat the Redbacks 7-3 and 15-0 at Grovehill Ballpark. Michael Osborn was the winning pitcher in the first game picking up his sixth win of the season for an overall record of 6 wins and no losses. 14-year-old Tom Everex-Armstrong made his NBL debut for the Falcons and fans of the club hope that this is the first of many NBL seasons with Herts.
Ryan Bird produced another outstanding pitching performance throwing a complete game no-hitter for a second consecutive game after his no-hitter at the Pirates last weekend. Only a walk allowed in the third inning prevented him from making it a perfect game. He ends the regular season with an ERA of 0.00 and a record of 5-0, despite starting only 2 games.
The Redbacks ended the season with 2 wins and 26 losses and may feel that they could have done better in their debut season in the NBL, but this should not discourage them. They have an amazing group of people at the club and perseverance will help them to go through this difficult period and come out stronger on the other side.
Sunday’s games may not have been the edge-of-your-seat-drama which Herts fans have become accustomed to, but this was all about making history winning the club’s first ever NBL pennant. The players and coaching staff took the opportunity to thank the club’s loyal fans, whose number has been growing visibly over the course of the season.
The date for Falcons supporters to put in their diaries is Sunday, 15 September which will feature the Semi-Final between the Herts Falcons and one of the teams which will join them at Franham Park via the Playoffs.