Category: Events

2022 Hunlock Series Roundup: Buzzards are the champions

2022 Hunlock Series Roundup: Buzzards are the champions

The Blue Buzzards were the favourites to win this year’s Hunlock Series so it was no surprise when they beat the Bears in the Final late on Sunday evening as the sun was going down on the final game day of the 2022 season.

It may have been a stroke of luck that they had the first pick of Free Agents but manager, Danny Preston, certainly hit the jackpot when Conner Brown appeared in the Free Agents’ block when he would usually be a first-round-pick.

They dominated in the league stage during the first two weeks finishing in first place which put them in pole position for the Playoffs.

Glorious sunshine and clear skies for all three weeks of the Hunlock Series

At the other end of the standings the Ducks and the Pilgrims finished fourth and fifth, respectively, setting up a dramatic elimination series which the Ducks won 4-2.  They had to face the third-placed Black Bears next. Ducks ran out of pitching arms and, despite putting up a good fight, lost the series 4-2.

Pilgrims manager Mike Cresswell with some unusual headwear, presumably to make himself more aerodynamic

The second seeded Red Roosters went the distance against the Buzzards ut it was the blue team who won it to clinch a place in the final while the Roosters had to face the Bears in a best-of-3 semi-final series. A walk-off win for the Bears took them to the Final.

The Buzzards had a considerable advantage as the Bears pitchers had gone through two gruelling series earlier in the day and the reds won the Final 2-1.

Hunlock Series Scoreboard

This year’s Hunlock Series saw around 100 players play 64 one-inning games. Many of the players were new to Herts and the club hopes to see them wearing the Herts jersey when the 2023 British baseball season commences.

These were the final games of the 2022 baseball season. The players now take a break over the winter but Spring Training is not too far away and preparations for the 2023 season have already began.

If you are not a member of the club yet, the best way to keep up-to-date is to be added to the club’s mailing list. Contact us for more details about joining the club or to subscribe to the mailing list.

Kids from around the UK enjoy October baseball in Hemel Hempstead

Kids from around the UK enjoy October baseball in Hemel Hempstead

The Herts Falcons won the U15 division of the Herts Futures Tournament and the Herts Hawks won the U11 bracket but all the teams played their part in making this another successful edition of this competition.

The number of teams who entered the tournament was considerably lower than previous years but it is in the context of the BBF national youth baseball championships being cancelled a week earlier due to lack of teams so this is positive news that teams from Essex, Hertfordshire, London, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire came to play.

This was the first time that the Herts Futures Tournament is played in October but the weather conditions were ideal for baseball.

The day started with the traditional opening ceremony introducing the teams and umpires. With Great Britain U18 Head Coach, Jonathan Rodriguez, being present, this was a perfect opportunity for the players and fans to mark what has been a very successful year for the GB U12, U15, U18, GB Women’s team and of course for the GB senior team who made history by qualifying for the 2023 World Baseball Classic just a few weeks earlier. 

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The playing of the national anthem was followed by players and fans chanting “Let’s go GB”.

The first U15 game of the day was closely fought between the Herts Falcons and Essex Redbacks. The Falcons came out on top but by the narrowest of margins winning 4-3.  Redbacks put on another great performance in their second game of the day against the Northants Centurions but were once again edged out, this time 2-3.

This set up a clash between the Falcons and the Centurions for the U15 title. The Falcons came out on top.

WATCH: Highlights of Herts Falcons U15 vs Essex Redbacks U15

WATCH: Highlights of Herts Falcons U15 vs Northants Centurions U15

In the U11 division, the Herts Londoners put up a good fight against the Nottingham Rebels and Herts Hawks but were on the losing side in both games. That set up a dramatic match-up between the Hawks and Rebels.  The hometown team seemed to be in control but a grand slam by the Rebels in the penultimate inning tied the game. 

There was little room for error in the bottom of the final inning.  The Hawks managed to drive the winning run across the plate to win an edge-of-the-seat encounter.

Since its creation in 2008, the Herts Futures Tournament has been a great day for the youth baseball community to get together at the end of the year. The club was delighted to see so many players, parents and coaches come along to enjoy it once again.

Our full photo album from the day can be seen on our Flickr page – please feel free to find yourself!

View the HFT scoreboard and final standings.

photos by Rob Jones

Herts Futures Tournament this Saturday.

Herts Futures Tournament this Saturday.

7 teams will be in action at the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) which will take place this Saturday, 1 October 2022. The number is considerably lower then in previous years but it is in the context of the BBF national youth baseball championships being cancelled last week due to lack of teams so this is positive news and an opportunity to end the 2022 youth baseball season on a high.

U15 Division

  • Essex Redbacks (U15)
  • Herts Falcons (U15)
  • Northants Centurions (U15)

U11 Division

  • Essex Redbacks (U11)
  • Herts Hawks (U11)
  • Herts Londoners (U11)
  • Nottingham Rebels (U11)

The opening ceremony will take place at 10:45am. The first games begin at 11:15am and games will be played right up to around 3:30pm.

To view the games schedule click here.

“Herts Baseball Club welcomes new players at any time of the year” said the club’s co-Director of Youth Baseball, Aspi Dimitrov. “Any children aged between 6 and 14 who are interested to give baseball a try should contact the club. It is not too late to play in these games, regardless of whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced player.”

The HFT was first held in 2008 and is now a permanent fixture in the British baseball calendar. It brings together youth teams from across the country for a day of baseball at one of the best baseball venues in the United Kingdom.

For more information about the event visit the Herts Futures Tournament homepage.

Hunlock Series starts this Sunday.  League and playoff games will adopt the 9th Inning game format.

Hunlock Series starts this Sunday. League and playoff games will adopt the 9th Inning game format.

The 9th Inning game format is back

The game schedule for the 2022 Hunlock Series has been published and it has been confirmed that the “9th Inning” game format is back which means that all games will be decided over a single inning only. This format was first adopted in the 2017 Hunlock Series. It recreates the tension and drama of the ninth inning.

The Green Pilgrims open the competition with a 4-game series against the Black Bears at 10am at Basing Hill Ballpark, followed by four more of these 4-game series with the day ending at around 5:30pm.

The following regulations will apply to the “9th Inning” format.

• The batting order of each team remains unchanged for the duration of the day unless a substitution is made.

• A substituted player cannot re-enter the same game, however that player can re-enter a subsequent game.

• The batter who was next to bat upon completion of the previous game will be the first batter in the next game with the rest of the batting lineup coming up to bat in order.

What is also noticeable from the schedule is that the home team alternates over the course of the 4-game series which implies that the fielding team in the bottom of the inning will remain on the field in the top of the inning of the subsequent game. This scheduling approach was adopted in previous years and it sped-up the games enormously as that halved the number of times teams go in and out of the field. There even was no need for warm-up pitches as the pitchers were ready. The downside is that a pitcher will need to stay on the mound for 6 outs without a break as opposed to the usual 3 outs, which could mean twice as many pitches thrown in an inning. This is where the defence can really help pitchers, by minimising errors and not adding to the pitcher’s pitch count.

League and Playoff Format

The first two weeks of the Series will see a league format where each team will play a total of 16 games, 4 games against each of their opponents.

The difference this year is that there will be a postseason playoff format in week 3 which will also feature the one-inning game format. See playoff tournament tree above.

Other rules

The other rules which differ from what teams are used to in the BBF leagues are:

• Pitching Restrictions. A player can appear as a pitcher in one, two or more games per day, but no player shall accumulate more than 3 innings (9 outs) as a pitcher over the course of the day. It is the responsibility of the opposing team to inform the umpire when a pitcher reaches the limit. Managers must inform opponents of the number of innings pitched by each of their pitchers during the day prior to the start of each game.

• No Mercy Rule will be in force.

• If the game is tied after completion of the final inning, each team is awarded half a win and half a loss in the standings.

The 2022 Hunlock Series Draft took place on Thursday night.  See more details here.

If you have not signed up to play in the Hunlock Series, it is not too late. Contact Herts Baseball Club for details on how to sign up.

Carter, McMenamin, Dearing, Wong and Ferroni are the first round picks.

Carter, McMenamin, Dearing, Wong and Ferroni are the first round picks.

The 2022 Hunlock Series Draft was completed on Thursday night. The managers of the teams had a plethora of talent to choose from with 87 players drafted over 18 rounds.

THE FIRST ROUND PICKS

It was no surprise that four of the five first round picks were pitchers.

On a toss of a coin, the Herts Ducks had the first pick. Manager, Brad Charalambous, determined to keep as many players from his 2021 roster as possible, selected Kent Bucs pitcher, Chris Carter.

Green Pilgrims manager, Mike Cresswell, was next to pick. He selected one of the top performers of the Herts Hawks, pitcher and third baseman, Harry McMenamin.

Red Roosters boss, Jack O’Brien, chose Herts Cardinals player-manager Brian Dearing whose primary positions are starting pitcher and shortstop.

The Black Bears went for pitcher, Stephen Wong, who has settled very well on the mound in his first season with the Herts Cardinals in the Triple-A League.

Finally, the Blue Buzzards picked another Herts Cardinals player Giorgio Ferroni who will bring a lot of speed on the bases and in the outfield. It would be interesting if we could see him in a race with Herts Falcons legend, Robbie Unsell.

FREE AGENTS AND TRADES

The full team rosters determined at last night’s draft are shown here. Shortly after the end of the draft the Blue Buzzards traded infielders Vytas Macenas and Miguel Gibson to Black Bears in exchange for Giorgio Ferroni and catcher Hunter Devine.

As more players sign up to play they will be able to join the teams as free agents.

Carter, McMenamin, Dearing, Wong and Ferroni are the first round picks.

One of the players who has just appeared on the Free Agents Block is Herts Falcons and Great Britain catcher and pitcher, Conner Brown (pictured above), who would usually be a first round pick. We will keep you updated about free agent signings and trades over the course of the Series.

New players aged 14 or above, regardless of whether they are members of Herts or another club or completely new to baseball, can be added to the teams at any point. To be added to the teams or for more details contact Herts Baseball Club.

OPENING DAY

The Series commence on Sunday, 1 October. The first games start at 10:00am at Basing Hill Ballpark in north west London. Admission is free. For complete Series schedule click here.

Hunlock Series managers announced. The Live Draft is on Wednesday night.

Hunlock Series managers announced. The Live Draft is on Wednesday night.

We are counting down to the 2022 Hunlock Series Live Draft which will take place this Wednesday, 21 September at 8:00pm.

For those who are new to the Hunlock Series, in the days leading up to the Draft, the 100+ Herts players (aged 14 and over) and newly registered players mark their availability for the three weeks of the Hunlock Series. The team managers then take turns picking players one by one over the twenty or so rounds of the Draft. It will be interesting to see which players among the club’s 100+ players will be picked in the first round and who will be the very first pick.  In previous years, that honour has gone primarily to Conner Brown.

Players and fans can follow the Draft picks here as they happen. Participants will also be able to interact and chat about the Draft on the Herts Facebook Page, on Herts Twitter and in WhatsApp groups as the managers make their picks.

The team managers

Five teams go into this year’s competition. The managerial appointments have just been announced.

  • Black Bears – Matt Bell
  • Blue Buzzards – Danny Preston
  • Green Pilgrims – Mike Cresswell
  • Herts Ducks – Brad Charalambous
  • Red Roosters – Jack O’Brien

Fans will see some new faces in the Hunlock Series this year who have joined the club in the last few weeks, so there will be an element of surprise in Wednesday’s Draft. Some of them may be new to Herts fans but they are not new to the game. The Hunlock Series could be a glimpse at some of the new players who will be wearing the Herts uniform in 2023.

Historically the Herts adult league team managers have used the Hunlock Series games to evaluate current and new players in preparation for the new season, to populate their rosters and positions and to decide which leagues the Herts teams should go into in 2023.

How to regsiter

All Hunlock Series players will be drafted into teams. To be eligible for the Draft players will need to update their availability for all the Hunlock Series dates in the online Clubhouse by 7pm on Wednesday, 21 September. If you miss the deadline or the first one or two weeks of games, don’t worry. New players will still be eligible to play but will have to be assigned as free agents after the Draft.

If you already have a Clubhouse account you can update availability by logging on with your existing username and password. Click here to go to the Clubhouse.

If you do not have a Clubhouse account but wish to play in the Hunlock Series, please register here and select “Play Hunlock Series” in the membership category list. After registering you can log on and mark your availability.

To be eligible to play in the Hunlock Series, players must be 14 years of age or above on 31 December 2022.

Entry fee

2022 club members, including non-roster club members, do not have to pay an entry fee as the Hunlock Series is part of their membership package. If you don’t have a Hunlock Series team shirt, you can buy one before your first game. The price is £8. Many players already have Hunlock Series team shirts from previous years and, to keep costs down for players, an online group will be set up where they can exchange their shirt if they have been picked by a team wearing a different colour team shirt.

New players or players from other clubs can play by paying the £18 entry fee which includes a free Hunlock Series shirt of the team which has drafted them.

For more details about playing in the Hunlock Series, contact us.

British youth baseball teams have started entering the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament

British youth baseball teams have started entering the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament

Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that the 2022 Herts Futures Tournament will take place on Saturday, October 1st.

The Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) was first held in 2008 and is now a permanent fixture in the British baseball calendar. The number of teams entering the tournament has been going up. The highest number of entries which we have managed to accommodate in previous years has been 21 teams. It will be interesting to see how many teams will enter this year. If the number continues to increase the club will have to consider ways of expanding the venue further.

The event brings together youth teams of various age groups from across the country for a day of baseball at one of the best baseball venues in the UK. Grovehill Ballpark is the home of Herts Baseball Club. Over the years the venue has been selected to host some of the biggest events in the British baseball calendar including the National Baseball Championships and Great Britain National Team events.

During the Herts Futures Tournament additional diamonds are added to cater for the different age groups.

This year’s edition is expected to cover the Under-15, Under-13 and Under-11 age groups.

For more information about the event, how to enter your team in the Tournament or how players can join the Herts teams to play in the HFT, visit the Herts Futures Tournament homepage or contact us.

Players have started registering for the 2022 Hunlock Series

Players have started registering for the 2022 Hunlock Series

The 2022 BBF regular season will be coming to an end this weekend but, whether your team makes it to the Playoffs or not, arguably the best part of the season is still to come.

Every year, just when the MLB season enters its most exciting stage, players come to the ballpark for a competition in memory of Herts Baseball Club’s number 36, the late Kyle Hunlock.

SERIES FORMAT

This is the sixteenth year of the Hunlock Series. In its inaugural year in 2006 two teams were involved, the Falcons and the Hawks. The format of the competition has evolved since then. The club has over 120 registered adult players this year and a good number of new players are expected to register to play in the Series. As players sign up over the next few weeks we will know how many teams will enter the Series this year.

SCHEDULE

It will be played over three Sundays on 2, 9 and 16 October. This is later than in previous years due to BBF adult and youth postseason playoffs being played over all four weekends of September.  If Herts adult teams are eliminated in the early rounds of the Playoffs one of the Hunlock Series game days may be moved to 18 September.

VENUES

Games will be played at both Grovehill Ballpark and Basing Hill Ballpark.

WHO CAN PLAY?
Any players aged 14 and over on 31 December 2022 are eligible to play in the Hunlock Series.

THE DRAFT

As in previous years, the teams will be selected by the team managers during the Hunlock Series Draft. Who will be the first round picks? How will Single-A league players and newcomers perform alongside NBL and Triple-A players?

Over the years we have seen how decisions made during the Draft can shape the outcome of the Series before a pitch has been thrown. The managers will have to make carefully calculated decisions if they are to put together a team which can compete for the Hunlock Series title, otherwise they face miserable few weeks.

With all of the club’s managers and coaching staff observing these games, players who have been pushing for promotion to a higher league team will have the perfect opportunity during the Hunlock Series to make a claim to play on the bigger stage in 2023.

NEW PLAYERS

The club has also received enquiries from many potential new members over the last few weeks and this event is the ideal opportunity for them to come and play and help them decide whether to join the club for the 2023 season. .

HOW TO REGISTER

All Hunlock Series players will be drafted into teams. To be eligible for the Draft you will need to update your availability for ALL the Hunlock Series dates in the online Clubhouse by Tuesday, 6 September. If you miss the deadline or the first one or two weeks of games, don’t worry. You will still be eligible to play but will have to be assigned as a free agent after the Draft.

If you already have a Clubhouse account you can update availability by logging on with your existing username and password. Click here to go to the Clubhouse.

If you do not have a Clubhouse account but wish to play in the Hunlock Series, please register here and select “Play Hunlock Series” in the membership category list. After registering you can log on and mark your availability.

To be eligible to play in the Hunlock Series, players must be 14 years of age or above on 31 December 2022.

ENTRY FEE
2022 Herts club members do not have to pay an entry fee as the Hunlock Series is part of their membership package. If you don’t have a Hunlock Series team shirt, you can buy one before your first game. The cost is expected to be around £8. You can also exchange a team shirt if you are drafted in a different colour team.

New players or players from other clubs can play by paying the £18 entry fee which includes a free Hunlock Series shirt of the team which has drafted them.

ENQUIRIES FROM NEW PLAYERS

For more details about playing in the Hunlock Series, contact us.

Herts teams announce preliminary 2022 rosters for the HSL

Herts teams announce preliminary 2022 rosters for the HSL

The five Herts teams have announced their preliminary rosters for the 2022 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 2022 Opening Day rosters. The Eagles and Londoners rosters are combined for this reason and may split later in the HSL.

The HSL games commence on March 19th.

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 Cardinals (Triple-A)

  • Alexander Trautman
  • Andy Cornish
  • Arik Raviv
  • Brian Dearing
  • James Cavanagh
  • James Hicks
  • Javier  Cardenas Tomas
  • Joshua Pines
  • Michael Anunobi
  • Michael Wakelam
  • Nicolas Goetz
  • Osvaldo Badia Rivero
  • Paras Patravale
  • Robert Laflamme
  • Roberto  Hernandez
  • Sean Bennett
  • Tetsuro Shinkawa
  • Tyler Cote
  • Vytas Macenas
  • Will Davis
  • Yves Schwarzbart

Herts Hawks (Single-A)

  • Andy Cornish
  • Antonio Lourenco
  • Antony Lavender
  • Cameron Schultz
  • Charlie Obrien
  • Dale Hardwick
  • Danny Preston
  • Declan Carlean
  • Elroy Davis
  • Harry Ewen
  • Harry Mcmenamin
  • Jack Obrien
  • Jordon Fox
  • Kennet Pike
  • Laurence Currington
  • Luis Martins
  • Michael Cunningham
  • Nick Barnaby
  • Paul Le Guillou
  • Pedro Martins
  • Peter Hogg
  • Todd Neville

Herts Raptors (Single–A)

  • Adam Scales
  • Beth Wain
  • Billy Perry
  • Calum Thompson
  • Ellie Page
  • James Morrell
  • James Watson
  • Jamie Berlofsky
  • Jamie Wise
  • Joel Eden
  • John Kjorstad
  • Lauren Dutch
  • Marcus Wathew
  • Mantas Poderys
  • Max Farmbrough
  • Neil Chilton
  • Noah  Tabor
  • Paul Auchterlounie
  • Rory Vangundy
  • Simon Jackson-Turner
  • Thomas Browne
  • Tom Roker

Herts Eagles / Herts Londoners (Single-A)

  • Aishiek Mitra Nandy
  • Alexander Trautman
  • Andy Stratford
  • Arnold Longboy
  • Aspi Dimitrov
  • Brad Charalambous
  • Bryan Mencias
  • Cory English
  • Dan Taylor
  • Daniel Gipple
  • Gilberto Medina
  • Giorgio Ferroni
  • Greg Bochan
  • Henry Bell
  • Hunter Devine
  • Isabella Trautman
  • James Angelou
  • Jamie Lang-Richards
  • Jason Reynolds
  • Joe Gipple
  • Joseph  Field
  • Kenny Liao
  • Kumail Jaffer
  • Kwong yan Li
  • Luke Ward
  • Mark Lewinson
  • Matthew Bell
  • Max Trautman
  • Michael Green
  • Michael Wakelam
  • Mohamed Abdule
  • Nicolas Goetz
  • Norman Peng
  • Peter Wilson
  • Rob Jones
  • Saira Smith
  • Sammy English
  • Thomas Hill
  • Wei Chieh Wang
  • Yu Tsz Cheung
  • Zak Beller
  • Zephaniah Prime Mencias

Players, from beginners to advanced, are now registering for the 2022 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.

Countdown to HSL – first chance to see the teams ahead of the 2022 British baseball season

Countdown to HSL – first chance to see the teams ahead of the 2022 British baseball season

The biggest pre-season baseball competition in Britain is back. Commencing on March 19, the Herts Spring League (HSL) will see 19 teams compete over the 3 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 19 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 on the two diamonds at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead, the home of Herts Baseball Club.

Schedule

Over the three weekends 40 games are scheduled to be played on the two diamonds. The competition begins on March 19 with a morning clash on Diamond 1 between the London Metros and the Essex Redbacks in the HSL NBL division. At the same time on Diamond 2, there is a Double-A clash between the Croydon Pirates and the London Musketeers.

The Herts Raptors are the first Herts team in action on that day as they meet the Mustangs. The first opportunity to see the Herts Cardinals’ first ever game will be on Sunday, 20 March, when they will meet ACS Cougars and the Sidewinders.

Alongside the deciding HSL games on the final day (April 3), Grovehill Ballpark will host the NBL Opening Day doubleheader between the Lancashire Legends and newly promoted BC Vetra who won the Triple-A National Championship last year.

Click to view full 2022 HSL schedule

Youth Baseball Open Days

In addition to the games, there will be three Youth Baseball Open Sessions for any boys and girls aged 6 to 14 who are not members of a baseball club at the moment. This is a good opportunity for them to try baseball at no cost. Each session is 2 hours long.

For more details and to book a place, please complete this form.

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 with the minor league teams? 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

Players, from beginners to advanced, are now registering for the 2022 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.