Homers help the Herts cause

In a big year for the Herts Falcons, recent weeks have been a bit scratchy. But on Sunday, they bounced back to chalk up their second win of the season. Herts’ National Baseball League (NBL) side came from behind to beat the London Capitals in a dramatic game at Grovehill.

The Falcons, sponsored by Regin Products, were trailing 4-1 going into the late innings. 2019 signing Gary Davison had put in a strong pitching performance but the bats needed to deliver.

Then they saw their new slugger Jarrod Pretorius hit a 3-run home run to tie it up, before Dominic Hill added the exclamation point of a walkoff homer. Robbie Smith closed it out with 2 great innings of relief.

Homer happy: Jarrod Pretorius

Herts competed strongly in Game 2 of the double-header, but ran out 8-6 losers. Tyler Badenhorst got 3 hits, while Marco Pestana clubbed a double.

Manager Cris Hiche was delighted with the effort his players put in. “I could write a book if I mentioned how great everyone played!”, he said. The Falcons are now 2-6 on the year, and next week need to capitalise when facing the Essex Arrows, who are also below .500.

The Herts Londoners continued their hot start in the AAA division, taking Game 1 against the Oxford Kings 5-3 at Grovehill (the Londoners will be moving shortly to their real home at Basing Hill Ballpark).

Manager Wade Lynch pitched a complete game for the win, while adding in a couple of RBIs to help his own cause.

Sebastian Molina also helped provide the offense with 2 hits, as did Chris Gregory. Gregory pitched Game 2 and continued his impressive year with 10 strikeouts and just 6 hits across 7 innings of work.

Londoners pitchers Lynch and Gregory

However, Oxford’s lefty pitcher in the second game was able to bamboozle the Herts bats. Lucas Lebrato drove in the only run and the visitors won 4-1.

The Herts Hawks suffered a rare setback on the road at Richmond in the AA division. Andrew Slater returned to the pitching mound and put in a solid performance, going 5 innings. But then things unravelled.

Hawks’ manager Michael Cresswell acknowledged they had simply run out of pitching, and a big inning did big damage. Herts went down 22-11, despite good hitting from Brian Morgan – who went 4-for-5 — Hunter Devine, and Cresswell himself.

The Hawks are still well positioned, with a 4-1 record. The Guildford Mavericks are up next.

In Single-A, the Herts Eagles were swept at the Essex Redbacks, but still have a lot to be positive about. For the veteran first baseman, Max Trautman, there was his first career home run! It was a towering blast which helped Herts rally in the final inning of Game 1. But it wasn’t enough to prevent a 19-7 defeat.

Adam Porte perhaps got the best contact of the day, smoking a line drive in Game 1. But, in a sign that luck would not fall the way of the underdog, it was snared in the blink of an eye by the Essex pitcher.

Adam Porte on the run

Herts bats actually improved in Game 2, with Trevor Clissold continuing his excellent start to the year and Aspi Dimitrov chipping in a double which fell just short of the fence. Rookie players Adam Collins and Louis Verman also got hits – while young Alex Trautman performed well on the mound.

The Redbacks just had too much experience and too deep a hitting lineup for the Eagles, though. Game 2 ended 14-7.