Baseball is a fickle game. Momentum can change from inning to inning and the Herts Hawks saw this happen on Sunday, as Brian Morgan reports from Richmond.
The Herts AA-division team had started the 2019 season undefeated, and were hoping to keep rolling when they travelled to the Richmond Dukes.
Clutch hitting, stolen bases, patient batters drawing walks — a total team effort — helped the Hawks jump out to a 9-1 after the top 2 innings.
Bats quieted a little as the game went along, but the Hawks kept threatening each inning, while Richmond batters scratched out additional runs.
Playing excellent error-free baseball for the first 5 innings behind solid pitching from Andy Slater on his return to the team, Hawks took a 9-7 lead into the 6th.
And then the momentum switched.
The wheels fell off the bus and the Hawks gave up 15 runs in the 6th to the home team.
Texas leaguers, swinging bunts, easy balls mishandled by a solid infield, diving outfielders just missing the catch, all combined to make the Richmond team simply tired of batting.
A pitching change to Giuseppe Basilea helped slowed things down and get Herts out of the inning – finally. The Hawks battled in the 7th to add 2 more runs but it was too late and not enough.
Manager Mike Cresswell reminded the team that this needs to be a “one off” and is not “Hawks or Herts baseball”. It was an uncharacteristic inning for the team this season and the team looks forward to getting back on the right road on Sunday against Guildford.