Game 1: London Mammoths 17 Herts Hawks 7 (W-Peters, L-Russell)
Game 2: London Mammoths 27 Herts Hawks 10 (W-Ditrich, L-Slater)
The Herts Hawks opened their Double-A League campaign at home against the London Mammoths. Despite another good pitching performance from Nick Russell, they found it difficult to contain the Mammoths’ batting assault. They lost the first game 17-7 and the second 27-10. Fielding errors proved to be a major weakness for the Hawks on the day, but ironically, among all the errors, there were two outstanding defensive plays which are already favourites for Plays of the Year. The first was a spectacular diving catch by centerfielder Ilya Dimitrov. The second was that rarest of plays in the game of baseball – the triple play. With runners on first and second and no one out, the ball was hit sharply on a frozen rope to first base where Andrew Slater caught it. Without hesitation he stepped on first base for the second out and then threw to second base for the third out with runners in both cases desperately diving back into the bags but unable to stay alive. According to the Society for American Baseball Research, there have been 691 triple plays in Major League Baseball from 1876 to April 13, 2013. The most recent triple play, was recorded April 12, 2013 by the New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
John Peters was the winning pitcher in game one continuing his unbeaten streak which goes back to the start of the 2013 season when he made his pitching debut with the London Marauders. In game two Andrew Slater was the losing pitcher for Herts and Australian lefty pitcher Max Ditrich was the winner for London. Ditrich is a new acquisition for the Mammoths this season and together with Peters will be difficult to beat.
The heavy defeat will have a negative effect on the Hawks’ confidence, but they will remain positive in the knowledge that they were crushed 21-8 by the Mammoths on opening day 12 months ago and still managed to reach the Double-A playoffs.
The British adult and youth leagues take a break for the Easter holidays. The action resumes on the following weekend, 26 and 27 April.