Category: U12

MVP vote results are in

The Most Valuable Players (MVP) of the ten Herts adult and youth teams have been announced.  This year the club opened the voting up to include not only Herts club members but the wider public, similar to MLB’s All Star voting.

The Herts Falcons made history this year playing in the European Federations Cup for the first time and despite a disappointing season in the National Baseball League, there wasn’t a shortage of candidates. In a very close race fans decided that this year’s Falcons MVP is Jarrod Pretorius (17% of the votes) who was among the team leaders in a number of categories including home runs and slugging average.

There was less doubt about the Herts Londoners’ MVP. Pitcher Chris Gregory won it convincingly with 29% of the votes after a phenomenal debut season at the club during which he had the most wins, best ERA and was also at or near the top of many offence and defence categories. He was also the starting pitcher who recorded the only Falcons’ win in the five European Federations Cup games.

Mike Cresswell was the driving force for the Herts Hawks this season as the team’s player-manager and he was voted MVP (31% of the votes). He has made huge strides since joining Herts in 2012 starting at Single-A and moving rapidly up the leagues. This year he even earned a call-up to play for the Herts Falcons in the European Federations Cup.

Similar to the Hawks, fans decided that the Raptors MVP is its player-manager, Matt Jackson, with 22% of the votes. He led the team in most of the batting categories. With so many young players making their debuts for the Raptors this season and performing better with each passing week, it is expected that Jackson will have a lot more competition in the MVP voting in the years to come.

There were many credible candidates for Herts Eagles MVP but Rob Gibson was the one who stood out in every aspect of the game and this was reflected in the MVP poll which he won convincingly with 28% of the votes. It is rare to see a 5-tool player in the Single-A League and Gibson is not far from being certified as one.

The MVP poll for the Herts youth teams attracted the largest number of votes and it looks like friends, family members and school mates took part in vast numbers which the club was very pleased to see. Involving the wider community was one of the reasons for opening the voting up to the public.

Herts U18 MVP – Oliver Durer

Herts U15 MVP – Nicholas Durer

Herts U13 MVP – Leon Gutowski

Herts U11 MVP – Daniel Heal

Herts U8 MVP – Jake Walder-Davis
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There was a tight race in the vote for Play of the Year. Eight of the nine nominees were Eagles or Raptors, but it was the Herts Falcons’ semi-nude antics in Bulgaria that won it.  Originally, this was nominated for the Nob-Out Award and it was added to the Play of the Year category in the last minute, but the fans have spoken and it looks like they felt that, despite lacking in baseball skill, it had an abundance of flair. Over 30,000 viewed the video on social networks which reaffirmed its credentials.

It was an even bigger surprise that it didn’t win the Nob-Out Award.  That accolade went to Herts Raptors’ Mantas Poderys who nominated himself for falling face-first a few feet short of first base in the Herts Derby away at the Eagles. Herts Hawks’ Gilberto Medina just missed out in second place. He was nominated for reporting for duty at the ballpark on the wrong day of the week.

The 2019 season may have ended but the start of Spring Training is not far away and the Herts adult and youth league teams in Hemel Hempstead and North West London will be starting their preparations for the 2020 season. New players interested to find out more about playing baseball and joining Herts in 2020 can contact the club.

British baseball teams have started entering the 2019 Herts Futures Tournament

Herts Baseball Club has announced that the 2019 Herts Futures Tournament will take place on Saturday, 21 September 2019.

The Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) has been held every year since 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 all 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 all the age groups.

This year’s edition is expected to cover the Under-18, Under-15, Under-13, Under-11 and Under-8 age groups.

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

Record-breaking 21 teams to compete for the HFT titles this Saturday

21 teams will be in action at the 2018 Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) which will take place this Saturday, 22 September 2018.  This is a new record for the tournament so Herts Baseball Club will have to stat looking into how to expand the venue somehow.

The opening ceremony will take place at 10:30am. The first games begin at 9:00am and the Finals will be played at around 4:30pm. To view the games schedule click here.

 

“Herts Baseball Club welcomes new players at any time of the year” said club president, Aspi Dimitrov. “Any children aged between 4 and 17 who are interested to give baseball a try should contact the club. It is not too late to take part in this event.”

Traditional Baseball snacks will be on offer including chilli dogs, Krispy Kreme Donuts and more. Imported baseball merchandise will also be on sale at the Herts Baseball shop.

The HFT has been held every year since 2008 and is now a permanent fixture in the British baseball calendar. It brings together youth teams of all age groups 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.

British baseball teams have started entering the 2018 HFT

Herts Baseball Club has announced that the 2018 Herts Futures Tournament will take place on Saturday, 22 September 2018.

The Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) has been held every year since 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 20 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 all 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. During the Herts Futures Tournament additional diamonds are added to cater for all the age groups.

This year’s edition is expected to cover the Under-17, Under-15, Under-13, Under-11 and Under-8 age groups.

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

Herts Falcons, Hawks and U13 teams begin search for new managers

With its annual general meeting approaching, Herts Baseball Club has confirmed that the managers of the Herts Falcons, Herts Hawks and Herts Under-13 teams will be stepping down. This will mark the end of an era for those teams and the start of the search for managers to lead these teams in 2018 and beyond.

Lee Manning has served as manager of the Herts Falcons since 2011. During that period he led the team to a NBL runner-up place in 2012 and 2013 just missing out on winning the NBL Championship against the Harlow Nationals in the Final on both occasions. This in fact was his second spell as manager of the club’s first team. His first spell was between 2004 and 2006 when he won promotion from the third tier of British Baseball to the second tier which at the time was referred to as the BBF Premier League, later renamed the BBF Triple-A League. Manning is hoping to continue his involvement in the club with focus on the youth baseball programme which he has been involved in since he founded it in 2007 together with Marty Cullen.

Andrew Slater and Greg Bochan have been the co-managers of the Herts Hawks, the club’s second team, since 2015. Bochan was first appointed as Hawks manager in 2009. In 2011 he was joined by Andy Cornish to share the role as co-managers until 2014. In the nine years since Bochan was first appointed, he and his co-managers Cornish and Slater managed to build fantastic camaraderie within the team, and it has given its members many moments which they will remember fondly. Regardless of whether the team had a winning average of .250 as was the case in 2011, or the 1.000 Single-A championship-winning season of 2016, the most important measure of success for the team has been the enjoyable, friendly atmosphere and sportsmanship on and off the field. At the recent end of year dinner (pictured above) the team expressed its gratitude to the three co-managers who built this team over the previous 9 seasons. The Hawks co-managers said that they would not be surprised if they return to managing the team in the future. They of course look forward to continuing to play for the club in 2018.

Mike Wakelam will be stepping down as Herts U13 Manager and Head of Youth Baseball. In 2009 he happened to be at the Northwick Park baseball centre when Herts were running an exhibition event there and he decided to join the club. He went on to play for the Herts Eagles in the Triple-A League and also for the Falcons in the NBL. In 2010 he became the manager of the Herts Under-11 team and later became the Under-13 manager. In 2017 Wakelam’s workload increased further as he joined the Board as the club’s Head of Youth Baseball. Over the last two years he was instrumental in restructuring the youth baseball regular season in an effort to increase the number of games played by the club’s youth teams which had been starved of games after the British Baseball Federation stopped running youth baseball leagues a few years ago. This has now been turned around and the BBF Super League was launched in 2017. Mike Wakelam is expected to remain involved in a playing capacity and he is likely to receive many calls from coaches after impressive displays in this year’s Hunlock Series.

Herts Baseball Club will shortly be announcing details of its Annual General Meeting which will include information for candidates which may be interested to put their names forward for these and other managerial and board positions which are being vacated.

17 teams to compete for the HFT title this Saturday

17 teams will be in action at the 2017 Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) which will take place this Saturday, 23 September 2017.

UNDER-17

Three teams will play a league format facing each of their opponents. The team finishing top will be the U17 HFT champion.

U17 TEAMS
Forest Glade RedBacks (U17)
Herts Red Kites (U17)
London Mets (U17)

UNDER-13

Five U13 teams will play each of their opponents in a league format. The team finishing on top of the standings will be the 2017 U13 HFT Champion.

U13 TEAMS
Brighton (U13)
Herts (U13)
Leicester Blue Sox (U13)
London Mets (U13)
London Sports Storm (U13)

UNDER-11

The six U11 teams have been divided into two pools of three teams. They will play a game against each of their opponents in their pool. The teams which finish top of their pool will play in the Final for the U11 HFT Championship.

U11 (POOL A) TEAMS
Forest Glade RedBacks (U11)
Herts (U11)
London Sports Thunder (U11)

U11 (POOL B) TEAMS
Leicester Blue Sox (U11)
London Mets (U11)
London Sports Lightning (U11)

UNDER-8

The three U8 teams will play each of their opponents in a league format. The team finishing on top of the standings will be the 2017 U8 HFT Champion.

U8 TEAMS
Brighton/Mets/Capitals (U8)
Herts (U8)
Leicester Blue Sox (U8)

The opening ceremony will take place at 10:30am. The first games begin at 9:20am and continue into the early evening. To view the games schedule click here.

“Herts Baseball Club welcomes new players at any time of the year” said club president, Aspi Dimitrov. “Any children aged between 4 and 16 who are interested to give baseball a try should contact the club. It is not too late to take part in this event.”

Traditional Baseball snacks will be on offer including chilli dogs, maple syrup cheese-steaks, Krispy Kreme Donuts and more. Imported baseball merchandise will also be on sale at the Herts Baseball shop.

The HFT has been held every year since 2008 and is now a permanent fixture in the British baseball calendar. It brings together youth teams of all age groups 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.

20 teams heading to the Herts Futures Tournament this Saturday

20 teams will be in action at the 2014 Herts Futures Tournament (HFT) which will take place this Saturday, 17 September 2016.

UNDER-17

Three teams will play a league format facing each of their opponents. The team finishing top will be the U17 HFT champion.

U17 TEAMS
Herts Kites (U17)
London Mets (U17)
London Sports (U17)

UNDER-13

The seven U13 teams have been divided into two pools of 4 and 3 teams. They will play in a league format, facing each of their opponents in their pool. The teams which finish top of their pool will play in the Final for the U13 HFT Championship.

U13 (POOL A) TEAMS
Herts (U13)
London Mets (U13)
London Sports (U13)
Northampton Centurions (U13)

U13 (POOL B) TEAMS
Brighton (U13)
Essex All Stars (U13)
LYBL Bulldogs (U13)

UNDER-11

The six U11 teams have been divided into two pools of three teams. They will play a game against each of their opponents in their pool. The teams which finish top of their pool will play in the Final for the U11 HFT Championship.

U11 (POOL A) TEAMS
Herts (U11)
Leicester Blue Sox (U11)
London Sports (U11)

U11 (POOL B) TEAMS
Brighton/London (U11)
Forest Glade RedBacks (U11)
LYBL Bulldogs (U11)

UNDER-8

The four U8 teams will play each of their opponents in a league format. The team finishing on top of the standings would be the 2016 U8 HFT Champion.

U8 TEAMS
Herts (U8)
Leicester Blue Sox (U8)
London Mets (U8)
London Sports (U8)

The opening ceremony will take place at 10:30am. The first games begin at 9am and continue into the early evening. To view the games schedule click here.

“Herts Baseball Club welcomes new players at any time of the year” said club president, Aspi Dimitrov. “Any children aged between 4 and 16 who are interested to give baseball a try should contact the club. It is not too late to take part in this event.”

Traditional Baseball snacks will be on offer including hot dogs, chilli dogs, big league chew, Krispy Kreme Donuts and more. Imported baseball merchandise will also be on sale at the Herts Baseball shop.

The HFT has been held every year since 2008 and is now a permanent fixture in the British baseball calendar. It brings together youth teams of all age groups 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.

First road trip for Herts U13 and U11 teams

report by Mike Wakelam

With Brighton setting up a new youth baseball programme in 2016, Herts U13 and U11 teams headed south for their first road trip of the season. With great weather and a warm welcome, a great day was had by all. The U11 teams had a couple of very competitive coach pitch games, with the first tied at 10, and Herts mixed team prevailing 10-8 in the second game.

Herts U13 team kicked off the first game by scoring 3 in the first inning with Mizuki Hosoi doubling before James Dullea drove in one and Joshua Jones drove in two. Rikuto Maruse, new to the baseball in September 2015, pitched the first 3 innings, giving up only two runs. The game was a tight one run affair until the top of the 6th, when Herts scored six more runs to break it open, the final score 11-4. Mizuki Hosoi and Cal McCreavy pitched effectively in relief.

In the second game James Dullea took the mound and threw 4 innings of two run ball, striking out the first 7 batters he faced, and 10 overall in a stellar performance. Alex Trautmen came on and pitched 2 strong innings in relief. Herts bats once again came alive scoring in all but one inning. The final score in this one was 11-3.

There were several defensive highlights during the day, with Joshua Jones firing a bullet across from 3rd to 1st to nail a runner and Oliver Sparks making a diving stop at 2nd base. Offensively, Mizuki Hosoi went 6 for 8, with 4 doubles and 4 RBI, Rikuto Maruse continued to hit the ball hard going 4 for 5 with 3 RBI, James Dullea showed poise at the plate in clutch situations, going 5/6 with 4 RBI and Joshua Jones went 5 for 7 with 6 RBI on the day.

“This team is really looking great not only on the field but as a team, “ manager Mike Wakelam said, “we have two players out injured at the moment, including one of our main catchers, and to see players step into that role temporarily for the team is great. The numbers looked great today, but the way they’re working together is their biggest strength at this stage of the season. The hospitality in Brighton was first class, and we look forward to hosting them in a couple of weeks at Grovehill, hopefully we can provide the same sun we saw down here!”

Herts U13 and U11 teams host LYBL at Grovehill next week, Saturday the 8th of May.

Herts U12 team victorious in their YNBC qualifiers

Herts U12 team were victorious in their YNBC qualifiers on Saturday during an exciting day of baseball.

The day started with a tough match up against Horsham, who had already won their first game of the day. As the visiting team, Herts hitters came out swinging with Nicholas Durer leading off with a double. Josh Jones then reached on an error before James Dullea doubled them both in. Although Herts continued to hit the ball throughout the game, with singles from Jonathan Wakelam, Cal McCreavy and Durer, solid defence from Horsham prevented any more runs. James Dullea started the game for Herts and was in masterful form. Dullea pitched 4 and 2/3 no-hit innings before reaching his pitch count for the day, and left having struck out 13! He also made a fine play on a weak ground ball to first base. Durer fielded it cleaning and fed to Dullea who was covering from the mound and bare handed the ball before stepping on the bag. With two outs in the fifth Horsham scored their first run with a based loaded walk and the score was 2-1. In the bottom of the sixth, Durer stepped to the mound and got two quick outs. Horsham then had runners on first and second with their best hitter at the plate. He promptly scorched a line drive to left field, but Josh Jones was there to make the catch and Herts erupted as they took the victory.

With Horsham having beaten Brentwood in the first game, Herts still had to win against Brentwood in their second game to go through. Having thrown only one inning in the first game, Nicholas Durer started the second. Durer was pitching well, but a finger injury meant he had to leave after 2 and a third. Brentwood scored in the first before Herts answered in the bottom of the inning with five runs. Durer again led off the game with extra bases, this time a triple and then scored on Joe Gipple’s single to centre. Josh Jones then walked before singles by James Dullea and Cal McCreavy. Brentwood’s aggressive young team answered with a run in the second before blanking Herts, and then scored two in the third, but that would be all they would get as Alex Trautman stepped to the mound and shut them down for the final two and two thirds innings in a fine relief appearance. Herts then scored five in each of the third and fourth innings to come away with a solid 15-4 victory and advance to the National Championships.

Notable performances

Nicholas Durer went 4 for 5 with a double, a triple and walk.
James Dullea went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and a walk.
Joe Gipple hit the ball hard all day going 3 for 6 and putting the ball in play every time at bat.

Round-up of the under-12 UK Little League Championships

photo by Vicky Sinclair

The Herts under-12 team came up against the best teams in the country this weekend as part of the UK Little League Championship. They were drawn in the “group of death” where they to the eventual winners LYBL and to Horsham. That meant that they were playing in the consolation games on Sunday, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the youngsters from Hertfordshire. Their second encounter with Horsham was a classic which went into extra innings. The game ended in a 15-15 tie with a heart-breaking out at home which stopped Nicolas Durer from scoring the winning run. In their final game of the tournament they lost 7-3 to the Mets.

Play of the day went to Josh Jones who made four spectacular catches in left field one of which was an extravagant diving play.

UK LITTLE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS – U12 FINAL SCORES
Herts 0 LYBL 12
Horsham 4 Herts 0
Horsham 15 Herts 15 (tie declared in extra innings)
Herts 3 London Mets 7

The youth league season continues as the Herts youth teams build-up to the biggest prize of the baseball season, the National Baseball Championships which will be played in September. There is still plenty of time for any new players to join the teams and be eligible for that eagerly anticipated event.