Raptors season begins this Sunday. Eagles and Hawks also looking to boost playoff chances.

When the dust settles, will the Raptors, Eagles and Hawks be at, above or below .500 (photo by Richard Lee richardleephotography.org)

The Herts Eagles are preparing for their second series of the 2014 season this Sunday, 27 April, as they host the Richmond Knights at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead. The two teams shared a win each in their doubleheader last season and both finished in the lower half of the Triple-A League table. It is games against teams like Richmond which will decide whether the Eagles will be involved in the playoff race come August. The first game of the doubleheader starts at 1pm and the second at around 3:30pm. Admission is free for these games.

The club’s third team, the Herts Hawks, will travel to Croydon on the same day for a two-game series against the South London Pirates. Both teams suffered heavy defeats on opening day – the Hawks losing to the London Mammoths and the Pirates to the Brentwood Stags.

In the fourth league tier the Herts Raptors will start their campaign with a trip to title-favourites London Marauders. This is the first official league game for the newly appointed managerial duo of Geoff Thomas and Rob Jones. For many this will be a debut season with the Raptors. Among them are Clive Johnson, Daniel Bennett, Drew Mayhew, James Roberts, Ian Byers and Matt Taylor.  It will take a few weeks to assess whether the new-look Raptors will be able to repeat last year’s heroics.

In the National Baseball League, the country’s top league, the Herts Falcons are resting this weekend. Their next game is the away series against the Bracknell Blazers on 11 May. This means that they would have had 35 days without any games by the time they travel to Bracknell next month – far from ideal scenario.

At this time of year the Herts baseball teams usually receive a boost as they are joined by football players whose season is about to end, as well as cricketers and other players who are looking to try baseball. Regardless of whether they have played baseball in the past or are new to the game, boys and girls aged 6 to 16 and men and women from 14 to 45+can come and give baseball a try with the Herts adult and youth league teams and play a part in the race for the 2014 national championships. For more details contact the club.