In the NBL Division the Essex Arrows and Birmingham Bandits were the favourites going into the final weekend of the 2018 Herts Spring League (HSL). Despite losing to the Herts Falcons, the earlier win over the London Mammoths was enough for the Arrows to clinch first place. The Birmingham Bandits had two shots at overtaking them but first the London Mammoths and then the Southampton Mustangs took the wins in closely fought games.
Their strong performance in the second week was enough for the London Mets U19 to win the HSL Triple-A title. The rain on Saturday scuppered the eagerly awaited encounter between them and the Lakenheath Regulators which was built as the title-decider in the Triple-A bracket.
In the Double-A Division the Herts Hawks’ record of three wins and no losses secured first place for them.
In the Single-A Division calculators were needed to break the tie between the London Musketeers and the London Archers. The Musketeers clinched it thanks to conceding fewer runs per inning, 0.111 compared to the Archers’ 0.556 runs per inning.
The 2018 Herts Spring League proved to be a major struggle in the face of sub-zero temperatures and snow in week one and torrential rain on the final Saturday which flooded both diamonds. These certainly were the worst weather conditions in the 11-year history of the HSL, but, despite this, 21 games were played which is 53% of the original schedule.
We saw home runs, spectacular defence, lights-out pitching, many players who will be making their BBF league debuts in 2018 and a whole lot more over the last three weeks of the HSL.
With Spring Training completed, British baseball teams up and down the country will hope that this will be their year. The NBL teams will open the 2018 season next Sunday, 8 April, while the other three leagues start later in April. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for a comprehensive coverage of the 2018 baseball season.