Category: Ravens

Eagles celebrate big moment; Ravens, Cards get crucial wins

A win is a win, but some wins are bigger than others. For the Herts Eagles, the victory at the Essex Redbacks on Sunday was special. It was, they said, “epic”. For this was their first win this season, which has been a tough year in which a team made up of largely rookie players battled numbers, availability, and the baseball gods.

The first game of the double-header had ended in a 5-5 tie which was, in itself, a great step forward. Joseph Coulson struck out 7 in a complete game effort, and made a highlight reel catch in foul ground. The Eagles outhit the Redbacks, too.

But even better was to come in Game 2. Jake Spicer turned in a solid pitching performance, and he was backed with an offense which struck early and often. Neil Chilton and Pavan Sunkara delivered key hits in the first inning, Sammy English ran wild on the bases in the second, and the Eagles jumped out to a 7-0 lead.

Defense, as always, was crucial too. A double play at first base, and a great catch down the left field line by Atena Barani, helped protect the lead. And when Spicer tired in the final inning, Chilton stepped in for the save. He secured the final out with a fielders’ choice at home plate, and Eagles took the game 9-6.

Manager Reece Crawley – who said he was “on cloud 9” after the win – had a long list of shout-outs to every member his squad for giving everything. “I couldn’t be prouder of the hard work and dedication of a team that never gave up”, he said.

There was credit for George Llewellyn Thomas – for keeping the spirits high when energy was low — and to coach Sydney McCall – for helping everyone stay focused, and to move when they had to and stay when they needed to!

A team wins together, and the Eagles were able to celebrate together after a well-deserved victory.

The Herts Ravens took their win streak up to 15 games in their Single-A doubleheader at Grovehill against the Herts Raptors. The Ravens are leading their division, but the post-season rules mean every game is a must-win to be sure of a place and to secure seeding.

Zak Beller at bat

Eddie Wang took the win in Game 1, his sixth of the year. He didn’t perhaps have his best stuff and the Raptors offered stiff resistance, working walks and mustering 6 hits – Max Kuszewski with two of them. But Wang battled out of trouble and he was helped by the crucial batting power of Ravens’ lefty slugger Zak Beller. He went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a triple, and drove in 7. It ended 19-8.

Game 2 saw ace Nic Goetz deliver the goods again, striking out 7 to take the win. But again Raptors fought hard, with Jamie Wise and Natasha Romoff among the hits. For the Ravens, Jack Page got two hits to drive the offense. Sonam Lama also racked up his sixth walk and fifth run of the day, and helped nail down the 13-6 win.

On Grovehill’s other diamond, the Herts Hawks of the Double-A league were facing the MK Bucks, who are challenging for the playoffs.

While wins eluded the Hawks in both games, there were some outstanding performances. Jack O’Brien was excellent on the mound, striking out 7 and dominating the opposition in much of the first game. Kobby Darteh drove in a pair and both he and Seth Muirden — recently promoted from the junior leagues – put in huge and successful efforts to adapt to the senior leagues.

Game 2 saw tremendous defence from Harry McMenamin and from Max Farmborough, who put in an excellent shift at shortstop, out of his usual positions. He ended one inning with an impressive double play, making the catch and gunning out an aggressive runner trying to score. Manager Ken Pike felt his team were starting to show their mettle as they tightened their defense and got the bats going – “the Hawks may be newly promoted but they are starting to show that the step up, while it’s a challenge, is setting great groundwork to re-establishing a credible Herts Hemel Hempstead double A presence.”

The Hawks defensive aces

The Cardinals faced Bournemouth Bears at Basing Hill in Triple-A, and needed to get a result if they were to stay in the playoff hunt. The Bears took the win 7-2 in Game 1, despite a solid outing by Tyler Cote and three hits by Osvaldo Badia.

But the big win came in Game 2. Early exchanges were tight, but then the Cardinals went ahead for good. RBIs by Badia, Cote and Mike Cresswell gave the home side a 5-3 lead. They extended it in the fourth, courtesy of Naohiko Kumagai and Hiroki Fujimoto, who both enjoyed multi-hit games.

Brian Dearing took the 9-3 victory on the mound, surrendering just 3 runs in five innings of work. Stephen Wong recorded the save and the Cardinals stay in the postseason race.

The Ducks were swept by Sidewinders in their doubleheader in Double-A, while the Herts Falcons went out with a bang as they were finally eliminated from playoff contention in the NBL. They pushed the London Capitals all the way, even going to extras in Game 2. But they came away empty handed, and because rained out games against Sheffield can’t be rescheduled they are out of the race.

There was a welcome treat for Falcons fans – and British baseball fans more generally – as the games were streamed online. Viewers checked in from around the world to see the drama, and to see how well the Falcons closed their first season back in the top flight.

Ravens Round the Bases on Raptors

Ravens Bring the Heat to Raptors

The second matchup between the Ravens and Raptors saw many of the Ravens hitting for the fences.

Game One

Game One saw Wei-Chieh Wang take the mound as the starting pitcher, hoping for his 6th win this season. The Ravens were driven through the early innings by their rapid pitching and solid defence.

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Zak Beller Rounding Second Base

Slugging champion Zak Beller stepped up to the plate for his 4th at-bat of the game, and with two doubles and a triple already under his belt, he was ready to go again. An at-bat filled with foul balls and wild pitches meant Beller had to be careful with what he chose to swing at, but when the perfect ball fell through the zone, all he had to do was unleash the bat. The Raptors left fielder was left sprinting for the fences, desperate to throw the ball back to the infield before Beller could reach third, but to no avail. He took his place on third base once more, only a short distance from home plate, and his cheering team. “Triple No.2 and Hit No.4 for Zak Beller”

The Game ended a 19-8 victory for the Ravens, a fantastic display of hitting and fielding, especially by the undisputed Player of the Day, Zak Beller.

Game Two

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Nic Goetz on the Mound

Nic Goetz walked up and took his place on the mound as game two’s starting pitcher. With his fingers gripped firmly around the baseball and his eyes focused on the glove of catcher Hunter Devine, he was ready. The inning saw strike after strike, batter after batter, and ended with all three outs credited to Goetz.

Rookie right-fielder Jack Page lead game two in hits after hitting the ball past the infielders in both corners, allowing himself to reach first base easily. Last years rookie Henry Bell also hit to the outfield on his second double of the day. His early swing of the bat squeezed the ball straight down the left field line, narrowly avoiding the Raptors third-baseman and giving him the time to round the bag and stand up safely into second base.

Sonam Lama showed incredible patience and plate vision after tallying up six walks across the two games. He made the most out these oppurtunities, making his way around the bases and bringing in runs for the team four of those times.

The Game ended a 13-6 victory for the Ravens, their 15th consecutive win.

The Ravens are facing the Essex Redbacks next on the 20th of August, their final game at Basing Hill.

Rumble of the Ravens and Raptors

Rumble of the Ravens and Raptors

A late-day start for the Ravens meant Basing Hill had already seen plenty of action, but there was more to come.

Game One

Hang Li stepped up to the plate for his first at-bat of the day, and after taking three straight balls, with a walk looking likely, a sudden swing of the bat saw the ball soar over the left fielder and land beyond the fence. He rounded the bases as cheers and celebration waited for him at home plate. “2-Run HOME RUN for the Ravens”

As a new inning begun, starting pitcher Nic Goetz returned to the mound, and with his lightning fastball, he sat down three of the Raptors in quick succession. “1, 2, 3 inning for the Ravens”

With the Ravens returning to bat, third baseman Greg Bochan stepped forward and took his position in the batter’s box. With two baserunners waiting to be batted in, Bochan delivered a powerful line drive double to left centre to achieve just that, his second double of the game. “2-Run double No. 2 for Greg Bochan”

With his foot by the base and glove pointed at the batter, first baseman Hang Li was ready for the play ahead. No sooner than the sound of the crack of the bat echoed through the infield, the sound of the snap of his glove replaced it. The batter had hit the ball directly into his glove, and with a diving effort to tag up, the baserunner was unable to beat the force out. “Bang-Bang double play for the Ravens”

The game ended in the 4th inning at 12-0, a Shutout for ERA Extraordinaire Nic Goetz, his 3rd of the season.

Game Two

With another win under their belt, and starting pitcher Wei-Chieh Wang warming up, the Ravens were ready to face the Raptors on the field once again.

The Raptors’ offensive effort had the Ravens looking to the sky, as two consecutive flyouts to both; the pitcher, Wei-Chieh Wang, and the centre fielder, Henry Bell, took the Ravens two steps closer to ending the inning. “Flyout to 1, Flyout to 8”

The bottom of the inning saw the Ravens capitalise on the walks they were given, as base hits from the top of the order and a double by Ravens second baseman Gilberto Medina brought in those on the bases. “Ravens bring in 5 to end the inning.”

With a nine-run deficit, the Raptors needed to give the final inning their all. Two singles by the starting batters provided the Raptors with prime runners in scoring position, who rounded the final bases shortly afterwards due to a throwing error by the Ravens. But ultimately, after some well-fielded groundouts, the Ravens got out of the inning to end the game as another win.

The game ended 13-8, marking a 5th win for Wei-Chieh Wang and a 13th consecutive win for the Ravens.

The Ravens and the Raptors will face off again on the 13th of August, at Grovehill Ballpark.

Hotshots and doubles as Ravens host Eagles

Hotshots and doubles as Ravens host Eagles

In two games packed with both drama and laughs, a couple of fielders will have seen their lives flash before them.

The winning Ravens team

Herts Ravens’ pitcher Andrew Slater caught a bullet from the bat of Mo Nasr more through instinct than from intent. And playing third base for the Herts Eagles, Eleni Xintaras was targeted by a missile off the bat of Sonam Lama – and wisely and superbly got a glove to it. The catch ended the inning.

These were the first Herts derbies for the Ravens this season, and they had plenty of fielding highlights. They ended with a pair of Ravens wins, 15-2 and 9-5. But the Eagles put up a strong fight, especially in Game 2.

The day started with a well-struck single for the Eagles pitcher and leadoff man, Jamie Lang-Richards. Atena Barani drove him in but the first of the day’s double plays then snuffed out the early threat. Ravens shortstop Eddie Wang took a catch and smartly doubled off the runner from first.

When the Ravens got to hit, it was Wang’s 2-RBI single which keyed a 5-run first inning. Arnie Longboy soon settled in on the mound and the home side took control. He was helped by another double play – this one a fully-fledged Major League style 6-4-3 off a ground ball – turned by Wang, Joey Li and Eric Ferng which ended the top of the third inning.

The Ravens put up another 5 runs in the third with Norman Peng and Jack Page among those getting hits to extend the lead. The Eagles had a last surge of base runners in the fifth, with Xintaras getting a hit and scoring a run. But it wasn’t enough to keep the game alive.

In Game 2, it looked as if the Ravens would impose themselves again, holding a 4-1 lead after the first. But there was no score by either side in the second. The Ravens had loaded the bases, but that hotshot catch by Xintaras ended the danger. In the third the Eagles, led by Lang-Richards and aided by some flawed fielding, pulled back two runs to make it 4-3.

The Ravens were able to get the line moving again in the bottom of the third. Matt Jackson, on loan to the Eagles and on the hill, kept pitching around the zone, striking out 2 and surrendering only 2 hits. But walks took their toll and the lead was 9-3 entering the final uncapped inning.

Hits from George Thomas, and from Jackson, helped make some drama. A close play at the plate, with Ravens’ centre fielder Joseph Field showing off his arm, went the Eagles way. They clawed back 2 runs, but it ended with a final ground-out.

These were games played in a good spirit, with friends getting the chance to face each other on opposing teams and test their mettle. Tremendous catches, and some good hitting, made for good baseball for the spectators. But it was always going to be tough for the Eagles. The two teams meet again next weekend at Basing Hill.

Adult and Youth League Roundup (27-28 May)

Adult and Youth League Roundup (27-28 May)

Only 3 of the 7 Herts adult league teams were in action at the weekend.

National Baseball League

The Herts Falcons are back in the playoff race after a win over the Essex Arrows – a team featuring a number of former MLB Minor League players (read full report and box scores).

(photo by Rob Jones)

Double-A League
The Herts Ducks lost narrowly to crosstown rivals the Meteors. They are still searching for their first win of the season.

Single-A League
Similar to their Opening Day encounter, the Herts Ravens and Milton Keynes Bucks produced another two nail-biting games.  This time the Ravens came out on top winning 7-6. The other game of this doubleheader was suspended after extra innings with the score tied at 5-5. We will have to wait to find out if the game will be completed when the two teams meet again on July 2nd or whether it will be recorded as a tie under BBF Rule 21.

Herts Youth Baseball League
Only one game in the U11 division which Herts Londoners won 8-6 against the Herts Cardinals (U11). A grandslam home run by Alexis Marriaga on his debut proved to be decisive.

  • Scores from the weekend’s adult and youth league games involving Herts teams (view)
  • BBF Adult League Standings (view)
  • Herts Youth Baseball League Standings (view)
  • Next games (view)
Herts teams announce preliminary 2023 rosters for the HSL

Herts teams announce preliminary 2023 rosters for the HSL

The seven Herts teams have announced their preliminary rosters for the 2023 Herts Spring League.

We understand that these rosters are not fixed and it is likely that there may be movement between teams over the course of the HSL. Some players may play for more than one team as managers look to evaluate them ahead of the announcement of the 2023 Opening Day rosters.

The HSL games commence on April 1st.

New players are registering every week, therefore some new names may be added to the rosters over the course of the HSL and throughout the league season.

Herts Falcons (National Baseball League)

  • Alex Deacon
  • Alexander Paterson
  • Ben Morris
  • Ben Moruzzi
  • Benjamin  Sporleder
  • Cole Nakazawa
  • Daniel Moran
  • Dylan  Lawler
  • Eli Belizaire
  • Fraser Duggan
  • Harry Quixley
  • Jack Mccarthy
  • Jack Warrington
  • Kaden Horwood
  • Leo  Nakazawa
  • Leon Gutowski
  • Matthew Moran
  • Max Manoff
  • Michael Cresswell
  • Nathan  Simmons
  • Nicholas Effingham
  • Rene Torcato
  • Samuel Sporleder
  • Tasuku Ishihara
  • Tetsuro Shinkawa
  • Will Clayton

Herts Cardinals (Triple-A)

  • Andy Cornish
  • Arik Raviv
  • Brian Dearing
  • Chun Hung Wong
  • Erik Gustafson
  • Giorgio Ferroni
  • Hiroki Fujimoto
  • James Cavanagh
  • James Hicks
  • Javier Tomas
  • Joshua Pines
  • Naohiko Kumagai
  • Osvaldo Badia Rivero
  • Robert Laflamme
  • Roberto  Hernandez
  • Sean Bennett
  • Tyler Cote
  • Vytas Macenas
  • Will Davis

Herts Ducks (Double-A)

  • Alexander Trautman
  • Bradley Charalambous
  • Bryan Mencias
  • Danilo Machado
  • David Mas
  • Evan Robins
  • Hang Li
  • Jake Spicer
  • John Del Riccio
  • Kumail Jaffer
  • Max Trautman
  • Miguel Gibson
  • Mohamed Abdule
  • Paras Patravale
  • Prime Mencias
  • Sebastian Cheng
  • Taysir Barakat

Herts Hawks (Double-A)

  • Antonio Lourenco
  • Callum Ferrier
  • Cameron Schultz
  • Declan Carlean
  • Gerrod Taylor
  • Giuseppe Basilea
  • Harry Ewen
  • Harry Mcmenamin
  • Jack Obrien
  • Kennet Pike
  • Michael Johnson
  • Noah  Tabor
  • Peter Hogg
  • Thomas Hill
  • Todd Neville

Herts Eagles (Single-A)

  • Ahmed Hassan
  • Boran Sahin
  • Daniel Gipple
  • Eleni Xintaras
  • Francesco Meduri
  • George Llewelyn Thomas
  • James Tappenden
  • Jamie Lang-Richards
  • Joe Gipple
  • Joseph Flores
  • Mark Vidler-Connaughton
  • Michael Green
  • Neil Chilton
  • Peter Wilson
  • Reece Crawley
  • Reece  Williamson-White
  • Saira Smith

Herts Raptors (Single–A)

  • Abdul Elhamri
  • Adam Scales
  • Billy Perry
  • Danny Preston
  • David Howard
  • Hamza Chowdhree
  • Jack Burkett
  • Jamie Berlofsky
  • Jamie Wise
  • John Kjorstad
  • Jordon Fox
  • Lauren Dutch
  • Lee Dunn
  • Lewis Auchterlounie
  • Martin Kuszewski
  • Max Farmbrough
  • Maxymus Kuszewski
  • Michael Cunningham
  • Nicholas Hine
  • Paul Auchterlounie
  • Rufus Lloyd
  • Steve Kis
  • Swar Panchal
  • Thomas Browne

Herts Ravens (Single-A)

  • Andrew Slater
  • Arnold Longboy
  • Cory English
  • Dan Taylor
  • Ed Moore
  • Eric Ferng
  • Gilberto Medina
  • Greg Bochan
  • Henry Bell
  • Hunter Devine
  • Jack Page
  • Joseph  Field
  • Matthew Bell
  • Matthew Jackson
  • Nicolas Goetz
  • Norman Peng
  • Rob Jones
  • Sonam Lama
  • Wei Chieh Wang
  • Zak Beller

Players, from beginners to advanced, are continuing to register for the 2023 baseball season. For more details about how to join the Herts baseball teams in Hemel Hempstead and in NW London or for more details about the HSL or if you are interested to give baseball a try in this competition contact Herts Baseball Club.

2023 BBF league lineups and schedules released. Tough Opening Day opponents for the 7 Herts teams.

2023 BBF league lineups and schedules released. Tough Opening Day opponents for the 7 Herts teams.

The British Baseball Federation has published the 2023 line-ups and schedules for the four league tiers.

National Baseball League

The Herts Falcons are making their return to the NBL which will feature seven teams this season. Arrows, Bruins, Capitals, Falcons, Mets, Vetra and the East London Latin Boys who are the other new team to enter the NBL following their promotion as the Triple-A national champions last year.

Each team will play 24 games in the regular season – 12 doubleheaders – facing each of the other six teams home and away. The postseason format and playoff qualification has not been announced yet but it is expected that the top four teams in the regular season standings will qualify for the playoff semi-finals on August 20th with the winners meeting in the NBL championship best-of-3 series on 26 and 27 August.

The Falcons will make the long trip to Sheffield on Opening Day to face the Bruins on Sunday, April 16th. Their home opener is a week later on Saturday, 22 April, when they host the reigning NBL champions, London Mets.

We understand the Falcons and the Latin Boys have submitted a request to the BBF to switch their series from June 18th to Sunday July 23rd at Grovehill Ballpark to enable the Latin Boys to take part in the Croydon Tournament. If the BBF approves this request, Herts plans to make this a special event. There are no games in any of the four BBF leagues on that weekend and Herts current and former club members and fans are advised to save the date – Sunday, 23 July.

As announced back in December, the 2023 NBL season will feel very different for Herts Falcons players and fans as the club is running the NBL Pilot Project and all their home games will be ticketed. Now that the game schedule has been published, ticket sales will be launched in the coming days.

The Herts Falcons go into the season as the rank outsiders but it is difficult to make any predictions at this stage as the roster has not been announced. We may have more information about their chances after we see the team in action for the first time in the HSL next week.

Triple-A League

Similar to the Falcons, the Herts Cardinals start the season by making the longest trip of the year away at the Bristol Badgers on Sunday, 16 April. Their first home game of the season is on April 30th when they welcome their cross-town rivals, the London Metros.

Last year the Triple-A league consisted of two pools. This year it has been merged into one pool of eight teams. The Croydon Pirates are the new addition after they won the Double-A national championship last year.

Each team will face their opponents home and away in a regular season with a total of fourteen doubleheaders which will continue all the way into September.

Double-A League

Herts Baseball Club was not represented in the Double-A league last year. This year they will have two teams in that league.  The Herts Hawks have been promoted after reaching the Single-A national semi-final last year.  They will be joined by the club’s expansion team – the Herts Ducks – who will play their home games at the club’s Basing Hill branch in north west London.

The offseason saw a surge of teams moving up from Single-A to Double-A and some moved down from Triple-A to Double-A so there will be four Double-A pools this year.

The Herts Hawks are in the “Central & East” pool alongside the Cambridge Lancers, Essex Archers, Milton Keynes Bucks and the Norwich Iceni. The Herts Ducks are in the “South” pool where they will compete against the Latin Boys (AA), Formosa Islanders, London Musketeers, London Meteors and the Sidewinders.

The Hawks open their season away at the Archers on 23 April while the Ducks are at home on 16 April against the Meteors. There will be no inter-pool matchups in Double-A so there will not be a Herts derby between the Ducks and the Hawks but they can hope to meet in the postseason.

Single-A League

With the Hawks promoted to Double-A, Herts will have three teams in the Single-A league this year.  The BBF has chosen to minimize travel for teams and has allocated all three Herts teams in the same pool where they are joined by the Essex Redbacks (A) and the Milton Keynes Bucks (A). Surprisingly, the BBF has also decided to remove the inter-pool games from the regular season schedule which will reduce the variety of opponents in favour of less travel.

The Herts Eagles open their season away at the Bucks on 23 April. Raptors’ first game is on 7 May at home against the Eagles while the Herts Ravens will have to wait until 14 May to get their season underway at the MK Bucks.

With three Herts teams in the same pool, there will be nine Herts derbies to look forward to. We have to wait until the postseason format is announced to see whether having three Herts teams in the same pool will reduce the probability of seeing Herts teams in the playoffs.

HSL

But before the BBF league season commences, we will have the opportunity to see 17 of the teams play their first games of the year in the 2023 Herts Spring League which is played over two weeks starting on 1 and 2 April (see HSL preview article).

New players

New players are still able to join six of the seven Herts teams. A waiting list system is in effect for the Herts Raptors, but players can be assigned to the other Herts teams while they are on the Raptors waiting list. For more details, contact us.

Countdown to HSL – first chance to see the teams ahead of the 2023 British baseball season

Countdown to HSL – first chance to see the teams ahead of the 2023 British baseball season

The biggest pre-season baseball competition in Britain is back. Commencing on April 1, the Herts Spring League (HSL) will see 17 teams compete over the two weeks of the HSL. Organised by Herts Baseball Club, it is Britain’s version of MLB’s Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues currently under way in the US, and it signals that the season is just around the corner.

Format

The 17 teams will be entered into three HSL tiers – NBL, Double-A and Single-A.

The organisers considered the possibility of a tournament format, but ultimately adopted a league format in the same way as the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues in MLB. “The objective of the HSL is to enable the teams to prepare for the new season and we have noticed that teams are increasingly starting to approach the HSL in the same way as MLB teams approach the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues” said HSL Commissioner, Aspi Dimitrov. He added “we have taken this into account when formulating the schedule putting greater emphasis on the preferences and preparatory requirements of the teams over the format of the competition”.

The teams finishing at the top of their respective division will be the HSL champions.

The Venue

The action will take place at both Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead, and Basing Hill Ballpark in north west London.

Schedule

Over the two weekends 27 games are scheduled to be played on the three diamonds. The competition begins on April 1 with a morning clash between the Herts Hawks and the Single-A national champions, Bracknell Inferno. Both teams have been promoted to Single-A this year. At the same time on Diamond 2, there is a HSL Single-A match-up between the Herts Ravens and the Formosa Islanders.

The HSL NBL division teams play their frst games on Sunday, 2 April. This will be the first opportunity to see the Herts Falcons as they prepare to make their return to the NBL. There will be many new faces for Herts fans to meet for the first time as well as some fan favorites from previous NBL seasons. The preliminary Herts Falcons roster for the HSL will be announced later this month.

Some of the HSL NBL and Double-A games will be played at Basing Hill Ballpark, starting with the Herts Cardinals encounter with the Essex Redbacks who merged with the Essex Arrows earlier this year to create a much larger club with three diamonds in three different Essex towns which is expected to make them a major force in British baseball.

Click to view full 2023 HSL schedule

Excitement building up

The Herts Spring League adds a competitive edge to Spring training. It’s the time for managers to work out their winning formula going into the BBF league season. It is an opportunity to evaluate existing and newly recruited players. Which players will earn a spot in the pitching rotation and who will be batting where in the batting order? Who will make the first team and who will have to work their way up through the minor league system? Not forgetting, it’s a chance to size up your rivals for the year ahead. It’s the first big challenge and the first big excitement of the baseball year. Don’t miss it.

Get in the Game

Adult and youth players, from beginners to advanced, are now registering for the 2023 baseball season. For more details about how to join the Herts baseball teams in Hemel Hempstead and in NW London or for more details about the HSL or if you are interested to give baseball a try in this competition contact Herts Baseball Club.

17 teams will signal the arrival of Spring in the 2023 HSL

17 teams will signal the arrival of Spring in the 2023 HSL

Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that 17 teams have entered this year’s Herts Spring League (HSL). The teams come from all British baseball leagues including the National Baseball League (NBL), Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A Leagues.

The HSL teams will be divided into three divisions as follows:

HSL (NBL) Teams
HSL (Double-A) Teams
HSL (Single-A) Teams

Schedule and Format

The HSL will be played over two weeks commencing on the weekend of 1-2 April and ending on 8-9 April. The HSL format and games schedule are expected to be announced shortly and hertsbaseball.com will bring this and all other HSL news as they happen.

The number of Herts baseball teams increases from 5 to 7

The number of Herts baseball teams increases from 5 to 7

Late last night Herts Baseball Club submitted its team entries in the various BBF leagues. In the previous year the club had five teams in the adult leagues. That number has increased to seven for the upcoming season.

The BBF gave Herts a 24-hour extension to submit their entries.  The main question which required more time to consider was whether to enter one or two teams in the National Baseball League (NBL).

“The club did consider the option to enter two NBL teams, as originally planned but, after assessing all of the aspects, we decided not to overstretch ourselves and instead create competition for roster spots and build a Herts Falcons team that can compete and attract fans as part of the NBL Pilot Project. We are also looking to put a structure in place to create a pathway for young players to join Herts, develop, win a spot on the NBL roster and reach their full potential internationally” said Herts Falcons manager, Cris Hiche.  

The Herts Falcons are back in the NBL this year and it will be interesting to see what the roster will look like when the players report for Spring Training on 19 February. Cris Hiche did not go into specific details but said, “our NBL roster will combine some experienced players with a large number of young players with enormous potential and we must give credit to Jonathan Rodriguez for that. It will be exciting to see what we can achieve with this group of players and we hope Herts baseball fans will enjoy supporting the team this season.”

The Herts Cardinals had a 10-16 record last year in the Triple-A league and there is no doubt that they will be pushing hard to climb up in the league standings this year.

In 2022 the club was not represented at the Double-A league level. This year there will be two Herts teams in that league tier. Herts Hawks have been promoted after reaching the Single-A league semi-finals last year. They are joined by the Herts Ducks – a new addition to the Herts baseball family. The Hawks will play their home games at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead while the Ducks will be based at Basing Hill Ballpark in north west London.

At the Single-A league level, there will be three Herts teams. In addition to the Herts Eagles and Herts Raptors we will see the return of the Herts Ravens whose last appearance was in 2013 in Triple-A.

Last season Herts had teams only in Triple-A and Single-A.  The club is now fully equipped to make a big push in all four league tiers which also puts the club in an excellent position to provide the path for players to work their way up the leagues from the youth programme covering players aged 6 to 14 all the way to the NBL – Britain’s top league.

The managers have left room in the team rosters and new players are continuing to register.