With the Falcons eliminated, Herts hopes rest on the club’s 3 youth teams. The Herts Harriers (pictured) were national runners-up last year. Can they go one better this time. (photo by Chip Andersen)
Hurricane Bertha wiped out all of the baseball league games involving teams from Hertfordshire, but the biggest damage was caused by the result in South London where the Southern Nationals won both games of their doubleheader against the South London Pirates. This implies that the playoffs are now out of the reach of the Herts Falcons regardless of what happens on the final weekend of the season.
This was always going to be a transitional year for the team after losing six of its nine starting players from the team which finished top of the NBL regular season last year with a record of 24 wins and 4 losses. In addition, the team suffered a series of injuries. More players were sidelined over the first four weeks of the season than in the previous three years.
Despite this the Falcons managed to regroup acquiring some outstanding players including Abel Salas, Jose Sosa, Ryan Hackel and Zac Malone and mounted a major playoff push in the last two and a half months. Players who had come through the club’s youth programme were asked to perform on the big stage and they came through with flying colours.
“The players gave everything this season. We just ran out of games at the end” said manager Lee Manning. “Everyone will feel some disappointment as we had a team capable of competing and we recorded a win against every team in the league including the league leaders”.
The Herts baseball teams are out of the playoff races in the respective leagues, but on the final weekend of the season they will have a say in who will occupy those playoff places after the final out of the regular season.
This is the first time since 2011 that Hertfordshire will not be represented in the postseason playoffs of the four tiers of the adult leagues of British Baseball. The hopes of Herts baseball fans now rest on the shoulders of the club’s three youth teams which are preparing for the playoffs in the under-17, under-14 and under-12 leagues. Boys and girls from around the region are still contacting the club and signing up to play in these exciting games to determine the national baseball champions, so it is not too late to get involved (click here to contact the club).