Category: Youth Leagues

No silverware but Herts youth teams put on strong performances in the national championships. U18s still in the hunt.

No silverware but Herts youth teams put on strong performances in the national championships. U18s still in the hunt.

Herts Baseball Club entered five teams into the BBF U18, U15, U13 and U11 National Baseball Championships. As expected, they came up against more experienced teams so the odds were stacked firmly against them, but that didn’t seem to faze the Herts boys and girls.

U11 Division

Two Herts teams competed in the U11 division – Herts Falcons U11 made up of players from its Hemel Hempstead branch and Herts Londoners U11 representing its NW London branch. Both had closely-fought encounters with LYBL U11 and London Mets U11 but those two teams made it to the final which the Mets won 8-7. It would have been interesting to see what the outcome would have been if Herts had entered an all-star team selecting the top players from the Falcons and Londoners.

U11 Division

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark

U13 Division

LYBL U13 proved too strong for all teams that came up against them. They overcame the Mets U13 by 19-1 in the Final.  The Herts Falcons U13 was a combined squad with players from the club’s Hemel Hempstead and NW London branches.  Although they couldn’t cope with LYBL, they were in control against London Sports U13 in the first half of the game but four runs in the last inning cost them.

BBF (U13) Pool A

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Grovehill Ballpark
Combined B U13Combined A U13
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark

BBF (U13) Pool B

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayLeagueField
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark

U15 Division

The Herts U15 team were expected to struggle as they were missing key players, but they came very close against both the Mets and London Sports, losing 8-13 and 7-10, respectively.  Once again LYBL dominated and they went on to lift the trophy.

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field

U18 Division

Heavy downpour in Surrey halted the U18 contest with the semi-final between Herts Falcons U18 and LYBL U18 finely poised at 0-0. The game was suspended in the bottom of the third inning with one out and it will resume on a date and at a venue which will be confirmed by the BBF in the coming days. There are signs that the Herts team, led by co-managers Colin Barrett and Duane Badenhorst, could cause an upset and progress to the Final.

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
ACS Cobham
ACS Cobham
Game 1 LoserGame 2 Loser
ACS Cobham
Game 1 WinnerGame 2 Winner
ACS Cobham

Herts launched its own Herts Youth Baseball League this year which saw an influx of new youth players join the club, the majority of whom are playing baseball for the first time in their lives this year.  The weekend’s action showed that there is enormous talent in the Herts youth teams and it is now for the club, the coaches and the players to realise that potential in the coming years.

Five Herts teams go into the national youth baseball championships this weekend

Five Herts teams go into the national youth baseball championships this weekend

Five Herts teams go into the 2021 British Baseball Federation (BBF) National Youth Baseball Championships this weekend.

The club launched its own Herts Youth Baseball League this year which saw a new generation of boys and girls join the club. The club currently has over 80 registered youth players with the majority playing baseball for the first time in their lives this season.

The five Herts teams go into the weekend as the underdogs but it will be interesting to see if they can put on a good performance and maybe even cause an upset.

The BBF selected Herts to host the U13 and U11 divisions at its Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead, while the U15 bracket will be hosted by the Kent Buccaneers and the U18s by ACS Cobham.

The U11 Division will play a double-elimination format where teams are eliminated if they lose two games until only two teams remain and those two teams will play in the final to determine the national champion.

U11 Division

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark

The U13 Division has been divided into two pools.  The winners of each pool meet in the final.

BBF (U13) Pool A

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Grovehill Ballpark
Combined B U13Combined A U13
Grovehill Ballpark
Grovehill Ballpark

BBF (U13) Pool B

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayLeagueField
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark
BBF (U13), Pool B
Grovehill Ballpark

The U15 Division is also base don double-elimination.

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field
Williams Field

The U18 Division will see four teams play semi-finals with the winners meeting in the final.

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayField
ACS Cobham
ACS Cobham
Game 1 LoserGame 2 Loser
ACS Cobham
Game 1 WinnerGame 2 Winner
ACS Cobham
Herts youth baseball teams about to commence preparations for the 2021 National Championships. New players can still join.

Herts youth baseball teams about to commence preparations for the 2021 National Championships. New players can still join.

As the end of the school summer holidays nears, the Herts youth baseball teams will be returning to training on Saturday, 4 September, in preparation for the 2021 National Youth Baseball Championships (NBCs) which is scheduled for 18 and 19 September. 

Herts Baseball Club submitted a bid to host some or all of the age divisions  at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead and is awaiting the decision of the British Baseball Federation (BBF).

The club is planning to enter teams in all four age divisions, and the coaching staff of the five teams has been confirmed.

U18 Herts All Stars

Co-Manager – Colin Barrett

Co-Manager – Duane Badenhorst

U15 Herts All Stars

Manager – Will Zucker

Coach – Bryan Mencias

Coach – Aspi Dimitrov

U13 Herts All Stars

Co-Manager – John Kjorstad

Co-Manager – Donnie Parsons

Coach – Aspi Dimitrov

U11 Herts Falcons

Co-Manager, Jordon Fox

Co-Manager, Nick Barnaby

Coach – David Sanok

Coach – Joe Brown

Coach – Aspi Dimitrov

U11 Herts Londoners

Manager – Cory English

Deputy Manager – Marshall Stark

Coach – Marko Petromarkov

Coach – Mo Milosavljevic

Coach – Aspi Dimitrov

Preparatory Training Sessions

The training schedule ahead of the NBCs has also been confirmed as follows (note venues alternaing for some of the teams):

U18 Herts All Stars

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat11-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark

U15 Herts All Stars

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat04-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark
Sat11-Sep-2114:3016:30Basing Hill Ballpark

U13 Herts All Stars

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat04-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark
Sat11-Sep-2114:3016:30Basing Hill Ballpark

U11 Herts Falcons

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat04-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark
Sat11-Sep-2109:4512:00Grovehill Ballpark

U11 Herts Londoners

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)VENUE
Sat04-Sep-2114:3016:30Basing Hill Ballpark
Sat11-Sep-2114:3016:30Basing Hill Ballpark
Tue14-Sep-2117:0019:00Basing Hill Ballpark

Team Rosters

The five teams currently have a total of 75 registered players with three additional players on standby. Click here to view the full roster.

There are a few available places in some of the teams so new players can still register in time to play in the National Championships.  They can also come to try baseball at the upcoming training sessions to help them decide before they register.  Those interested to register or to try baseball before registering should contact the club.

Herts to battle on all fronts in the national youth baseball championships. Badenhorst and Barrett to manage the U18s.

Herts to battle on all fronts in the national youth baseball championships. Badenhorst and Barrett to manage the U18s.

The Herts adult league teams may be struggling to qualify for the playoffs, so the club’s youth teams may have to carry the flag in the national baseball championships (NBCs) this season.

Herts is preparing to enter teams in all age divisions, U18/U17, U15, U13 and U11.  The club has submitted a bid to host the Youth NBCs at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead.  The event is expected to take place on 18 and 19 September.

The Herts youth baseball programme was restructured this season and has seen significant growth from 21 registered players last year to over 70 this season and that number is continuing to grow as new players are still registering to play in the NBCs.

The majority of these players are playing baseball for the first time in their lives so they will have the difficult task of competing against the more experienced teams from around the country, but it will be interesting to see how they will respond to the challenge.

The club has also confirmed that Duane Badenhorst and Colin Barrett (pictured above) will be the joint managers of the Herts U18/U17 team. Both bring a wealth of baseball experience having played and coached in South Africa and Great Britain, including at international level with the South Africa U12 National Team, South Africa Men’s Softball Team and, currently, the Great Britain Men’s Softball Team.

Duane Badenhorst (centre) with the Herts U17 team in the Youth NBC

Six members of the Badenhorst and Barrett families have worn the Herts jersey over the years and fans of the club will be delighted to see them back.

For more details about joining the Herts youth baseball teams for the upcoming national youth baseball championships contact us.

The kids put on a show in dramatic season finale

The kids put on a show in dramatic season finale

The Herts Londoners clinched the Under-11 division of the Herts Youth Baseball League after a dramatic race with the Herts Raptors and the Herts Falcons which went right down to the wire.

At the start of the day the Londoners and Eagles were in third and fourth place, two games back on the Falcons and Raptors. 

The Eagles struck first with a 3-2 win over the Hawks helped by Sterling de Vita’s first home run of the season. On the other diamond the Londoners also won in their clash with the Falcons. This win proved to be crucial later in the day.

The Hawks may have been eliminated from the race but they were determined to leave their mark and they did so by causing a major upset beating the league leading Raptors and then the Falcons to derail their title push.

The gap at the top was beginning to close. The Londoners and Eagles were now just one game back but they were to face each other next, knowing that the losing team would no longer have a chance to win the title. The Londoners came out on top, 6-2. The Eagles were now out of the race.

It came down to the final games of the day. The Falcons, Raptors and Londoners were tied in first place. The Londoners faced the Raptors. The Falcons were up against the Eagles.  Both games started at the same time on adjacent diamonds which enabled the fans to witness the drama on both diamonds as it unfolded.

During most of the season the Falcons relied on the home run power of Connor O’Neill-Thompson.  He continued his bombardment adding to his tally to finish the season as the league’s leading home run hitter with five home runs. Rory Graham, who comes from the same school as O’Neill-Thompson, joined the Falcons partway through the season but he proved to be another power hitter for the team.  It was his home run that clinched the 2-1 walk off win for the Falcons. On the other diamond, the Raptors and the Londoners were tied 3-3 and the game had to go into extra innings.  On the hottest day of the year so far, to avoid heat exhaustion, the league had decided in advance that tied games would be determined in a hitting contest where the teams would nominate one of their players and the team whose representative hits the ball furthest would be awarded the win.  A high flying shot by Cosmo English won it for the Londoners.

HYBL U11 Division – Final Standings

PosTeamWLPctGB
1950.6430
21060.6250
3970.5631
4680.4293
54120.2506

This meant that the Falcons and Londoners were still tied in first place.  The league rules state that “the head-to-head results between the tied teams should be used to establish placings”.  The players and fans had to go through an anxious wait while the league commissioner and team officials were going through the season’s scores between the two teams. The confirmation came over the public announce system that the Londoners are the 2021 Under-11 Herts Youth Baseball league Champions having won two of their three games against the Falcons over the course of the season.

In the Under-15 Division, the championship was decided in the final game between the Hawks and the Londoners who found themselves tied in first place.  The age superiority of the Londoners was a big factor on the day as they won the game to become the U15 champions.

HYBL U15 Division – Final Standings

PosTeamWLPctGB
1720.7780
2630.6671
3450.4443
4130.2503.5
5270.2225

An outstanding act of sportsmanship by one of the youngest players in the league was recognised during the trophy presentation. 5-year-old Mason Barnaby from the Herts Raptors U11 asked for time during one of the games in order to run to the team bench area to encourage his teammate Owen Ridgway to rejoin the game after he had picked up a knock earlier in the day.

A considerable number of players missed out on these dramatic last few weeks of the season as they were required by their schools to self-isolate in compliance with Covid guidance, but the baseball season is not over.  The national championships are coming up in September and it will be interesting to see how the new generation of Herts youth players will do on the national stage against teams from around the United Kingdom.

Players are still able to register in order to represent Herts in the national championships. For more details contact us.

Herts submits its bid to host the 2021 National Baseball Championships

Herts submits bid to host the 2021 National Baseball Championships

Herts Baseball Club has submitted its bid to host 2021 Postseason Playoff games in the adult leagues of the British Baseball Federation (BBF). If the BBF awards any of these events to Herts, they will be staged at the club’s Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead.

Richmond Flames lifting the NBL trophy at Grovehill Ballpark in 2010 (photo by event-photos.co.uk)

The events which clubs are invited to bid for include the Wild Card Playoffs and National Semi-Finals and Finals of all four BBF league tiers, from the Single-A League to the National Baseball League (NBL).

Grovehill Ballpark has previously hosted the National Baseball Championships (NBCs) in 2010 and 2012.  In 2013 the national baseball and softball complex at Farnham Park was constructed and these NBC games were held at that venue since then.

Action from the 2010 NBL playoffs hosted by Herts (photo by event-photos.co.uk)

However, the costs of staging these events at Farnham Park are proving to be very high and the BBF has decided to open the opportunity for clubs to host these high-profile events at their own ballparks similar to how the Football Association held England national team and Football League Playoff Final games around the country while the new Wembley Stadium was being built.

Championship-winning moments like this from 2010 could return to Grovehill Ballpark this year (photo by Will Baxter)

Herts Baseball Club has also expressed interest in hosting the National Youth Baseball Championships and is awaiting details from the BBF of the bidding process.

The Postseason games will be played in September. The exact game schedule and the successful bidder(s)  will be announced by the BBF in the coming weeks.

14th Herts baseball team makes a late league entry

14th Herts baseball team makes a late league entry

The 2021 baseball season is now in full swing. Last weekend there were eight adult and four youth league games involving five Herts adult league and eight youth league teams. Herts Baseball Club is growing and now has thirteen teams.

The news of the Herts Youth Baseball League (HYBL) which was launched this season has been spreading and a new fourteenth team – the Herts Hawks U11 – has just made a late entry into the league. They will be based in Hemel Hempstead and will be added to the U11 Division of the HYBL.  They missed the opening games but the league schedule will be adjusted so that they can make up those games over the course of the season.

The Hawks (U11) will play their first league games this Saturday, 5 June, with a total of six games being played at the club’s two ballparks in Hemel Hempstead and in North West London.

DateHomeTime/ResultsAwayLeagueField
HYBL (U15)
Grovehill Ballpark
HYBL (U11)
Grovehill Ballpark
HYBL (U11)
Grovehill Ballpark
HYBL (U11)
Grovehill Ballpark
HYBL (U15)
Basing Hill Ballpark
HYBL (U11)
Basing Hill Ballpark

Players are continuing to register and they are being added to the teams every week.  New players are able to come and play in the next games to help them decide if they would like to join the league.  Contact the club for more details.

Herts Baseball Club receives grant to promote baseball for children in Grovehill

Herts Baseball Club receives grant to promote baseball for children in Grovehill

Herts Baseball Club has been awarded a £1,000 Herts Sports Partnership grant from its Active Local Tackling Inequalities Fund secured from Sport England.

The fund aims to help reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 and the widening of the inequalities in sport and physical activity in ten Active Local areas around Hertfordshire which have high number of people on low income.

One of those ten Active Local areas is Grovehill in Hemel Hempstead which is where the club’s baseball ballpark is located.

The funds will be used to promote baseball for children in Grovehill by staging free open days at the ballpark and taster sessions in local schools.

Kids will then be able to join the youth baseball teams playing in the Herts Youth Baseball League which the club is launching this year for boys and girls aged 6 to 14. The aim is to give local children the opportunity to play baseball in a family environment and keep them physically active and involved in community activities for many years to come.

The club received the funding last month and has already staged three open days at Grovehill Ballpark. There is one more coming up this Saturday, 22 May, before the league season starts on Saturday, 29 May. Boys and girls, from complete beginners to advanced players, can contact the club to book their place to try baseball for free at an upcoming event.

For more information about Herts Sports Partnership visit their website.

Spring Training schedule announced for the Herts adult and youth teams

Spring Training schedule announced for the Herts adult and youth teams

With the success of the Covid vaccination roll out, families around the country are looking forward to resuming outdoor activities in April. The government’s timetable currently indicates that organised outdoor sport can commence from Monday, 29 March. On the basis of this Herts Baseball Club has published the Spring Training schedule for its adult and youth teams.

The adult teams are set to return to the ballpark for the first time on Sunday, 4 April, while the youth teams start preparations on the following weekend, 10-11 April.

Youth players who are new to the sport will have the opportunity to come to one of the Open Days in April to try baseball and see if they will enjoy it before they register for the 2021 inaugural season of the Herts Youth Baseball League. These will be held at both of the club’s ballparks in Hemel Hempstead and in North West London. 

New adult players will have the opportunity to do the same during the Spring Training sessions in April.

Although the youth teams do not have a session on Easter weekend, the Great Britain National Team is inviting all players aged between 9 and 12 who are British passport holders, or soon to be passport holders, to attend the first GB Under-12 National Team workout which we understand will be used as a tryout in preparation for the U12 European Championships to be held in Germany this summer between 4 and 10 July 2021.

All Herts events will follow the Covid-secure protocol approved by the government which allows baseball activities for up to 30 players and coaches on a baseball diamond at any given time. In view of this, players will need to book their places for the sessions in advance by marking their availability in the online Clubhouse. Those who are not registered for the 2021 season yet but who are interested to come to one of these open sessions to try baseball, must contact the club in advance to book their place.  If we reach the limit of 30 players per event, the club will give priority to registered members and will put non-registered players on a waiting list so that they are given priority at the next event which has available places.

Before the players return for their first baseball sessions at Grovehill Ballpark, the club will have its annual Field Maintenance Day on Saturday, 3 April. Players and volunteers are invited to come and help to prepare the field for the upcoming season. The club will provide more details about this closer to the event.

Note: The schedules may be subject to change to comply with Covid restrictions.

Schedule – Adult teams based at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)EVENT NAMEVENUE
Sun04-Apr-2110:0012:00Spring TrainingGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sun11-Apr-2110:0012:00Spring TrainingGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sun18-Apr-2110:0012:00Spring TrainingGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sat24-Apr-21TBCTBCHerts Spring LeagueGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sun25-Apr-21TBCTBCHerts Spring LeagueGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sun02-May-21TBCTBCBBF League Opening DayTBC

Schedule – Adult teams based at Basing Hill Ballpark, NW London

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)EVENT NAMEVENUE
Sun04-Apr-2110:0012:00Spring TrainingGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sun11-Apr-2112:3014:30Spring TrainingBasing Hill Ballpark, NW London
Sun18-Apr-2112:3014:30Spring TrainingBasing Hill Ballpark, NW London
Sat24-Apr-21TBCTBCHerts Spring LeagueGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sun25-Apr-21TBCTBCHerts Spring LeagueGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sun02-May-21TBCTBCBBF League Opening DayTBC

Schedule – Youth teams based at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)EVENT NAMEVENUE
Sat10-Apr-2110:0012:00Open Day – Spring TrainingGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sat17-Apr-2110:0012:00Open Day – Spring TrainingGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sun25-Apr-2110:0012:00Open Day – Spring TrainingGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sat01-May-2110:0012:00Open Day – Spring TrainingGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Sat08-May-21TBCTBCHYBL Opening DayGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead

Schedule – Youth teams based at Basing Hill Ballpark, NW London

DAYDATETIME (START)TIME (END)EVENT NAMEVENUE
Sun11-Apr-2110:0012:00Open Day – Spring TrainingBasing Hill Ballpark, NW London
Sun18-Apr-2110:0012:00Open Day – Spring TrainingBasing Hill Ballpark, NW London
Sun25-Apr-2110:0012:00Open Day – Spring TrainingBasing Hill Ballpark, NW London
Sun02-May-2109:3011:30Open Day – Spring TrainingBasing Hill Ballpark, NW London
Sat08-May-21TBCTBCHYBL Opening DayGrovehill Ballpark, Hemel Hempstead
Crowdfunding campaign continues for Basing Hill Ballpark despite setback

Crowdfunding campaign continues for Basing Hill Ballpark despite setback

It has been a hotly anticipated few weeks as Herts Baseball Club rallied support for the Basing Hill Ballpark crowdfunding campaign on Spacehive. Facing steep competition, the club hoped to be one of the projects to receive financial backing from the Mayor of London as part of the Make London Fund. Results were announced earlier this week and sadly Basing Hill Ballpark did not succeed in its pitch for mayoral funding. Despite the setback, perhaps there is some comfort in the fact that Herts Baseball Club only narrowly missed out.

The Make London Fund had two tiers: Tier 1 for projects up to £5,000 and Tier 2 for projects over £5,000. With a target of £55,804, Basing Hill Ballpark was placed in Tier 2. Of the 35 projects that were successful in their campaigns for the Mayor’s fund, around fifteen were in Tier 2. Shortly before the results were announced, Herts Baseball Club had 120 backers which ranked it 17th out of a total 98 projects.  Although the decision is not based entirely on the number of backers, it must have been very close.

And let us not forget the very worthy projects we were up against, from cookery schools supporting social integration, which received a pledge from the Duchess of Sussex, to projects tackling loneliness and homelessness. Club President, Aspi Dimitrov, congratulated all the other projects and said that, “although this is a setback, we are determined to build this baseball venue. Apart from the Mayor of London, we have pitched to several other organisations such as the London Borough of Barnet and are continuing to approach other potential backers as part of our crowdfunding campaign”.

There is no denying that missing out on the Make London Fund, with its potential to back up to 50% of the project, was a blow. But the club has not given up. Although holding considerably smaller funds, backing from the London Borough of Barnet is still a potential source of financial support, and with 53 days left to reach its crowdfunding target, Herts are doing everything they can to reach out to other organisations and potential backers.

To date, the campaign has received pledges amounting to £12,123 which is 21% of the £55,804 target. If the campaign fails to reach the target by the deadline all of the pledges will be cancelled and no payments will be taken. The club hopes it does not come to this and will continue to promote the unique and exciting project that Basing Hill Ballpark is. It is also becoming more necessary. One development which emphasises the importance of the project is this week’s launch of the club’s brand new youth baseball league. This will see boys and girls aged between 6 and 14 playing games in Basing Hill Park and at the club’s existing Grovehill Ballpark baseball complex in Hemel Hempstead.

Businesses, sponsors and other backers who may be interested to support the project can contact the club to discuss ways in which this could be a good fit and beneficial for them. They would have the additional assurance from the fact that the club passed the project viability verification process carried out by the independent organisation Locality, which was a prerequisite to pitch to the Mayor of London.