Blazers bring down high-flying Falcons in NBL title race.

Edwin Alcantara hit one of two Herts home runs in game one, but it wasn’t enough to avoid defeat (photo by Paul Holdrick)

Bracknell Blazers 10 Herts Falcons 6 (Box Scores)

Herts Falcons suffered a heavy defeat at home against the Bracknell Blazers. The visitors stunned Herts by taking the lead early in the first game of the doubleheader and never relinquished it. Despite the best efforts of pitchers Mike Osborn and Robbie Almanzar, it seemed like nothing could stop the surging Blazers. Home runs by Edwin Alcantara, his second of the season, and Jose Sosa, also his second, were not enough to bring Herts back in the game which finished 10-6.

Bracknell Blazers 11 Herts Falcons 1 (Box Scores)

Bracknell’s onslaught continued in the second game this time against Falcons starting pitcher Jose Sosa. They took the lead again and never looked back. Their second win of the day was even more emphatic ending with a score of 11-1. After the game Herts Falcons Manager, Lee Manning, felt that “we have to tip our caps to our opponents and congratulate them on a well deserved win”.

When the news of the final scores started to circulate on the internet, British baseball fans would have been stunned to see the score lines. Before the games Bracknell had 2 wins and 6 losses compared to Herts Falcons’ 5 wins and 1 loss, so based on this, the scores would be seen as a major upset, but a closer inspection would have shown that Bracknell had declared their championship ambitions with their impressive performance at the unbeaten London Mets a week ago which was overshadowed only by their 9-run collapse in the final inning which cost them the game.

It has become customary in sport to declare a major crisis when a team suffers a heavy defeat. Will this setback have a long-term negative effect on the Herts Falcons or will it prove to be the catalyst which will spur the team on in the race for the NBL title? Fans will not have to wait long to get answers to these questions as the Falcons travel to their biggest rivals, the unbeaten London Mets, this Sunday, 7 June. This clash between two of the biggest baseball clubs in Britain is a must-see event.

Herts Hawks 12 Tonbridge 11 (Final after 10 innings)

The other Herts team in action at the weekend was the Herts Hawks. They travelled to Tonbridge in an eagerly awaited clash between two of only three remaining unbeaten teams in the Single-A League. It proved to be a pitchers’ duel between Nic Goetz and Gareth Nutt who both pitched complete games. Tonbridge held a commanding 9-5 lead in the fifth inning, but the Hawks gradually found a way back into the game. Most of their rallies started with two outs and no runners on base. Sony Lama’s double with two outs drove in two runs in the ninth inning to tie the game at 9-9 and take it into extra innings. The Hawks took the lead with two more runs in the 10th inning and held on for a dramatic 12-11 win stranding the tying run on second base.

The Hawks host the Essex Archers this Sunday. The Herts Eagles are also at home where they will face the Essex Redbacks.