All six National Baseball League (NBL) games on Sunday were played at the national baseball complex at Farnham Park in Slough. Each NBL team played two games. The Herts Falcons faced the reigning champions London Mets and London Capitals – both very difficult opponents who had just returned from their European Federations Cup Qualifying campaigns.
The Falcons went toe-to-toe with the Mets for four innings tying the game 1-1 after singles from Alex Deacon and Harry Quixley. Will Clayton had another good start on the mound allowing only 3 runs on 4 hits over 5 innings.
The Mets took a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning after a 2-run double by Josh Barrett to left field. Despite outhitting the Mets 7-6 in this game and putting considerable pressure on their defence, several decisions didn’t go in Herts Falcons’ favour which took the steam out of their offence in key moments of the game. Final score Falcons 1 Mets 6.
Next, the team from Hertfordshire came up against the London Capitals who were in third place in the NBL standings at the start of the day. The Falcons fell behind 1-3 but came back to tie the game in the third and take a 5-3 lead in the fourth after loading the bases followed by a 2-run single by Cris Hiche.
Similar to the earlier game against the Mets, the Falcons also outhit the Capitals 8-7 but 5 defensive errors proved to be costly as the Capitals took advantage and won 9-6.
The progress which this young Herts team has made over the first 3 months of the season is obvious but is not quite enough to keep up with the pace of the teams occupying the top four places.
Despite losing ground on the fourth-placed Sheffield Bruins who picked up a win against the Latin Boys, mathematically Herts can still qualify for the Playoffs if they can bounce back this Sunday when the six NBL teams meet again at Farnham Park. Their opponents this time will be the Essex Arrows (17-3) and the London Latin Boys (1-13).