The Herts Falcons played two games away at the East London Latin Boys on Coronation weekend and picked up their first win of the season.
Both teams went into this series with a record of no wins and four losses from their first four games, desperate for a win against a direct opponent in the battle to finish in the top four places.
The team from Hertfordshire took a 6-1 lead after three innings, which included two runs scored on two balks by pitcher Jose Martinez. This was only the second time that the Falcons have had a lead in a game this season but this time they held onto it to the end.
A 2-run home run by Ben Sporleder in the fifth inning and his 2-run double in the sixth extended the lead to 10-1.
Player-manager, Cristobal Hiche (pictured above), also went deep with a 2-run home run of his own to give his team’s pitching staff and defence a little more breathing room going into the closing innings of the game.
Starting pitcher Dan Moran was effective throughout, allowing only three hits in five and two-third innings. Relief pitcher, Tasuku Ishihara, came on to strike out Jeffrey Aguilar for the final out of the game with a final score of 12-2.
The team struggled defensively in the first four games of the season but on this occasion the fielding was exemplary without any errors. It included two double plays involving middle-infielders Dylan Lawler and Tetsuro Shinkawa and several spectacular plays by left fielder, Ben Morris, who made his Herts debut.
In the second game the Falcons struggled with the bats against Latin Boys’ pitcher, Jorge Luis, who allowed only one hit and struck out 11 batters. They also struggled defensively allowing 13 runs in the second and third innings and there was no coming back from that. The final score 0-15.
Both teams will probably be happy to have picked up a win each which lifted them above the Sheffield Bruins into fourth and fifth place and very much in the thick of the battle for the four playoff places.
After the game, Falcons infielder, Rene Torcato, said that “the team will aim to take the positive momentum from today into the next game at home versus the Sheffield Bruins on Sunday, 14 May, which is another key series in the playoff race”.
Tickets for that game are currently on sale here.