The Herts Hawks continued their march towards the playoffs with a convincing 28-10 victory away to the Richmond Squires in the Single-A league. Joint manager Andrew Slater pitched a complete game for the win, striking out four batters and walking only 2.
The first few innings were evenly matched, with Herts edging into a narrow lead. Tim Elkins scored the first run of the day. The Squires first two batters reached base and the hosts threatened to score — but a double-play on the infield prevented it.
Then the Hawks added 5 runs in the fourth inning and piled on 14 runs in the fifth to put the game beyond doubt.
Rod Naghar led the team with 5 runs batted in; Andy Cornish hit three doubles; while catcher Paul Auchterlounie scored 5 runs. The Hawks remain unbeaten on the season, with a 10-0 record, and a postseason slot is now secure. The next few games will help determine their seeding.
The Herts Raptors were also in Richmond for two Single-A games. One was scheduled, the other was a make-up of a rained out game from May.
They jumped out to a big early lead against the Dukes and still led 13-6 after 4 innings. Boruch Boudilovsky and Daniel Bennett each drove in 3 runs. Good fielding helped protect the lead, with Nick Shrimpton at shortstop and Matt Jackson at third base showing excellent defensive skills.
But Richmond staged a dramatic rally, scoring 7 runs to draw level and then 9 to surge ahead. They won 22-14.
The Raptors then faced the Richmond Squires, in the make-up game. Bennett again performed well, getting on base all three times he came up to bat, and scoring the only run. But the Herts offense had gone quiet. Nick Shrimpton had 2 hits and the only RBI.
Richmond had their veteran pitcher John Irving on the mound, and he allowed just 6 hits and 1 run. The visitors couldn’t figure him out, and in a game shortened because it was being played as a double-header, there was no time to recover.
Raptors lost 12-1 and are still searching for their first win of the season. There were no other Herts teams in action this week.