Herts Baseball Club confirmed that the Herts Hawks have applied for promotion from the Single-A to the Double-A League of British Baseball and that the BBF has approved it.
It may not have the same promotion-clinching scenes that we have become accustomed to when watching English football with pitch invasion by fans and a ride through town in an open-top bus, but this news is just as exciting for Herts Baseball fans.
It comes after a 2016 season in which the Hawks became Single-A National Champions winning every one of their games from start all the way to the Single-A National Playoff Final against Tonbridge – a total of 18 games (15 in the regular season and 3 in the playoffs).
This will not be the first season in the Double-A League for the Hawks. They spent 10 years in Double-A between 2005 and 2014 (in 2005 Double-A was referred to as Division One). There were some triumphant years during that period including 2012 when the team reached the Double-A National Semi-Finals eliminating Southampton and Guildford in the Playoffs before being knocked out in the Semi-Final by a strong Nottingham Rebels side.
Herts Hawks win-loss % in the previous 6 seasons
Will the 18-game winning streak be extended in the Double-A League? It is difficult to predict what we can expect from the Hawks in the third tier of British Baseball this year. Co-Managers Andrew Slater and Greg Bochan have a very calm and diplomatic approach and you will not see them raise their voice during games in any circumstances, but this does not stop them from getting their team fired-up when they have a challenge ahead of them. Regardless of where the team ends up in the standings, the coaching staff and players have a great team spirit and they will enjoy every moment. The most exciting games of 2016 for the Hawks were the come-from-behind wins against the Cambridge Royals on Opening Day and in the Semi-Final against the London Musketeers. Their ability to come from behind will come in handy in the more competitive environment of the Double-A League.