Herts Hawks produced a dominant display of offensive power at Grovehill on Sunday to beat Brighton Redhawks by a mercy-rule victory in 6 innings.
The team had started the 2015 season with an unbeaten run of 11 games before stumbling at the final two against their main contenders in the title challenge but a solid win will have helped restore confidence and prove they are a force to be reckoned with in the next round at Farnham Park.
The game started with some nerves for the home team as they let four runs slip past them in the first inning but they responded in style slotting in 6 runs in reply before settling down to a much more solid defensive performance for the rest of the game. With only five errors conceded by the team the manager will be happy to see a return to discipline over the last two games of the regular season.
Starting pitcher and coach Greg Bochan calmly commanded the mound throughout the game while the offense racked up 6 runs in both of the first two innings, and three in the third and fourth as well. Brighton’s third pitcher of the day brought a brief reprieve from the onslaught with a sidearm delivery that took some getting used to before Herts jumped back to life in the sixth with a further seven runs to seal the game.
One of the standout moments of the game included a stylish catch from outfielder Rod Naghar who promptly delivered the ball back to second baseman Ken Pike for a double play on the runner who had jumped the gun expecting the ball to land, while on the other side of the ball Sonam Lama went four for four and Tim Elkins and Ilya Dimitrov batted in three runs each to lead the scoring.
Ultimately there was little to fear for the Hawks after the first inning was done, but despite a sterling effort played in the best of spirits, the young Brighton side will not compare to the challenge the Hawks face in the semi finals next Saturday in the form of Tonbridge. The two sides faced each other earlier on in the year in an edgy and closely fought battle in Kent which was decided only after an extra inning and a margin of one run to Hawks’ favour. Both sides will be keen to come out firing on all cylinders to book a place in the finals so it’s sure to be another epic match-up.