Michael Cresswell reporting from Grovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
The Hawks were looking to restart another winning streak on Sunday but unfortunately fell to the Double-A South leaders East London Latin Boys by a score of 14-7.
Both teams were eager to see who would take the seasonal series with the Hawks and Latin Boys splitting the last series and ending both teams’ unbeaten streaks. The Hawks streak ended that day after an impressive run of 24 games won. The game was considered to be a pitchers duel with Jeffrey Aguilar starting for the Latin Boys and Ernie Ayala starting for the Hawks. Both pitchers ERA under 4 at the start of the game.
The opening inning showed that the Latin Boys’ hard-hitting lineup was still showing from the last game as they managed to score 2 runs from solid line drives to the outfield. The Hawks defence also started to flourish, including the first of two double plays in the game, both with shortstop Louis Hare involved to end the inning.
Ayala’s stellar pitching held the runs down and stopped the running game with his elite pickoff move however the strong bats from the Latin Boys was illustrated in a 2-run homerun by First Baseman, Alberto Novas, to extend their lead in the second inning.
The Hawks offence started to come alive in the middle part of the game with three runs with skipper Greg Bochan starting it off himself by managing to get on base with a walk. The Hawks bats also came alive with hits from the great Bulgarian Duo of Aspi Dimitrov and Ilya Dimitrov, the latter managing to hit a laser of a line drive down the left field line to bag himself a double to break up the stellar form of Aguilar.
Pitching was not only a key part of this game but defence as well with both teams putting on performances to stop base hits and runs. Slugger Gilberto Medina had a solid line drive caught by the Latin Boys’s Center Fielder’s diving effort and quick turn efforts made in the infield from the Hawks to stop sharp grounders. Ayala’s day was done after five innings and the ball was given to Louis Hare to come in for relief.
Unfortunately this was not enough to stop the Latin Boys with the side managing to get on base and drive these in with the longball. Pitcher Jeffrey Aguilar and Outfielder Aneudy Vargas putting the ball over the wall in a rare fashion that the Hawks had not been used to. British Baseball getting treated to a 4 HR game, however none for the Hawks.
Batters from the mighty Hawks managed to get on base in the latter parts with strong walks from Hunter Devine, base hits from Michael Cresswell, Louis Hare & Jonathon Lewys to drive additional runs, totalling 7 runs from 6 hits in the game. The game ended 14-7 after 9 innings.
Though the defeat was bitter, the Hawks managed to keep morale high by having a barbeque after and included some players ending up in a hot tub! The next game will be the second double header as they welcome the Daws Hill Spitfires to Grovehill Ballpark on the New Diamond with first pitch at 12:00pm. Can they start off another winning streak that could possibly beat that incredible 24 game winning streak? Only time will tell!