Falcons fight back, while Hawks lose their way

The Herts Falcons had suffered a frustrating day at home to the London Capitals in their National Baseball League matchup (on Sunday May 13th).

In the first half of the double-header, they fell into an early hole, and couldn’t quite fight their way out.  When they went 8-2 behind in the second game, things looked bad.

Falcons’ John Blose at bat

But they dug deep. As manager Cris Hiche put it, “the bats came alive”. NBL rookie Tom Carson was one of those making his presence felt. He came off the bench to get two hits, including a double.

Tyler Badenhorst had started sharply on the mound, but then struggled with his control and the relief corps stepped up. Aaron Witter and Walter Bates held firm, and Conner Brown contributed three innings of “phenomenal” relief pitching. The Falcons won it 14-8.

The first game had ended 7-4 to London, but that is only part of the story.

London had scored 6 in the first inning – with 2 home runs inching over the short fence in right field.  Rather than turning into a blowout, this one was tight. On the mound, Herts’ Rob Ackerman made adjustments after the early shelling, to pitch a complete game.

A tough-luck loss for Rob Ackerman

Hiche hopes his team can ride the momentum from their comeback and continue improving. They are now at .500 on the season.

Across Grovehill on the other baseball diamond, the Herts Hawks had an unusually error-strewn game against Sidewinders in the AA-league. It was a top of the table clash, and the Herts side will be disappointed with their performance.

The first exchanges were tight. But then they gave up 5 runs in the top of the second, with batters getting to veteran pitcher Darrin Ward and the defense unable to help him out.

Hawks were able to rally back to 11-6, and loaded the bases more than once. They got hits from new boy Leigh Coke and returning hero Kimiyoshi Saionji.

Unmistakeably – and irreplaceably – Kimi

But they could not keep Sidewinders in check. More mistakes allowed more runs, and in the end the visitors took it 19-11.

The Hawks manager Mike Cresswell was clearly frustrated but looked quickly towards rebounding in the coming weeks: “We bring our heads up high, and move on to the next”, he said. “And nobody can be upset when we witnessed the return of Kimi!”

The Herts Raptors had to sit out the week’s action, but still ended up with a victory. The Old Timers were hampered by injury and had to postpone their planned game in Single-A.

They felt unable to turn this week’s fixture into a double-header so the Raptors win by forfeit, and move to 2-1 on the season.