Poetry in Bochan helps lift Herts hearts

A masterful pitching performance by Greg Bochan helped the Herts Hawks to a comfortable 19-2 win over the Milton Keynes Coyotes on Sunday (8th May 2016), extending their unbeaten run.

He scattered five hits across five innings of work, striking out four and walking just two. He gave up no earned runs.

The Hawks — led by managers Bochan and Andrew Slater — are now 4-0 on the season and leading their division in the BBF’s Single-A league.

Greg Bochan pitches in the win over MK Coyotes

The powerful offense was driven this week by Sonam Lama, who went 3-for-5 at the plate. He drove in three runs, and scored three himself. There were also two hits for Louis Hare — a double and a triple — and one RBI each for Aspi and Ilya Dimitrov.

The Hawks were held mostly in check by Milton Keynes until the third inning, when they suddenly piled up seven runs. That gave them an 11-1 lead and it was already looking bad for the Coyotes.

The visitors added on two and then six more, and Bochan helped stifle any attempted comebacks. The game was called on the mercy rule after five innings, the Hawks securing a 19-2 victory.

Back at Grovehill in Hemel Hempstead, the Herts Raptors were taking on the Essex Archers. Herts had played only one game, a tight one at London which they won 7-3. The Archers had scored for fun in their two wins. So everything was poised.

The early exchanges were even. The first Essex batter fell victim to Matt Corran’s impressive fastball, but then batters made contact for force the defense to try to make tough plays.  They then stole aggressively to open up with a run.

The Raptors answered back with two, then Essex tied it back up. Their starting pitcher Billy Bridger was working the zone well and Herts could manage only one run in the second.

Michael Cresswell at bat

Then in the third, the Raptors were able to make pressure tell. Essex were unlucky on a series of hard hit balls which caromed around the defense like pinball. Herts scored seven in the third, then eight in the fourth after veteran Rich Sprent came in as reliever for Essex.

Herts co-managers Michael Cresswell and Paul Barton both hit well, while the bats up and down the lineup did their jobs. Youngsters Joe Court and Adam White have already showed great improvement in their hitting this season.

As Raptors stretched their lead, they could see the chance of a mercy rule win. Three runs in the bottom of the fifth sealed the deal, Court driving in Darren Priest for the winning run in a 21-6 victory.