Tag: John Blose

Falcons shock Southampton, Upset Defending Champs

Herts Falcons, 5 – Southampton Mustangs, 2 In a game with a tangible sense of added emotion, the Herts Falcons upset the Southampton Mustangs on the back of a Miguel Hector 3-run bomb, and a complete game, 4-hitter for starter Zack Longboy.

From the first pitch, Southampton looked ready to continue their streak of hot hitting as a bloop, a hard liner and a wild pitch pushed two runs across in the top of the first. On the mound for the Mustangs was Alejandro Morense, who also looked untouchable early with a sharp curveball.

After being blanked for the first two innings, the Herts offense came alive, led by Jarrod Pretorius, who collected two hits in his return to the Falcons, and Tyler Badenhorst who drove in a run to reduce the deficit to 2-1. It was the bottom of the 4

After being blanked for the first two innings, the Herts offense came alive, led by Jarrod Pretorius, who collected two hits in his return to the Falcons, and Tyler Badenhorst who drove in a run to reduce the deficit to 2-1.

It was the bottom of the 4th however, when the Herts bats really began to do their damage. Singles by Badenhorst and catcher Phil Clark put ducks on the pond for Miguel Hector, who smashed a no-doubter over the wall in left, to bring the score to 4-2, Herts. Hector’s production in the 8-hole, including what was, without question, one of the biggest plays of the game, is indicative of a Herts lineup that produced one-through-nine on Sunday.

On the other side of the ball, Herts got a dominant performance by starter Zack Longboy who allowed only 2 runs on four hits, in the complete game win. After the top of the first, Longboy blanked the hard-hitting Mustangs, who’s lineup includes several GB Senior Nationals, for the next 6 innings with a biting two-seamer that ran in on Southampton hitters all day.

In support of Longboy, the Herts defense which has often struggled with error-laced innings this season, also looked on point, buoyed by the play of third baseman Pretorius and centerfielder Darren Meintjes. Clark, who called an excellent game behind the plate, also showcased stellar defense, allowing no passed balls and keeping the Mustangs’ runners in check.

Padding the lead, hits by first-baseman Cris Hiche and a double roped off the wall in left for John Blose added another run in the bottom of the 5th, bringing the lead to 5-2, Herts. A late push in the top of the 7th by the Mustangs saw two men reach on a double and a walk, but a timely pick off at 2nd by Longboy and a ground ball to third ended the threat, and sealed the Falcons’ win.

All day, emotions seemed to be running high in the Herts dugout, the team fired up to play the defending-champ-Mustangs. “We’ve got a great team when we have our full roster out and [we] can compete with all the top teams” Manager Lee Manning said. “Longboy threw a masterclass and makes me proud of our youth system. He’s developed so much over the last two years, I expect to see him in the GB senior set up soon.”

WHAT’S NEXT? British baseball fans are encouraged to attend the British Summer Time/MLB UK event in Hyde Park this evening July, 4th. The event will pit two teams of former major leaguers, including Cliff Floyd, Carlos Pena and Shawn Greene, against one other in a home run derby competition. Stayed tuned for post-event coverage on the Herts Baseball website.

For the Falcons, the next matchup will be a doubleheader against a familiar foe: the Southampton Mustangs, who will no doubt be looking for revenge.

Doubleheader: Herts Falcons vs. Southampton Mustangs

Game 1: 12:00 p.m.

Game 2: 3:00 p.m.

Location: Grovehill Ballpark, HP2 6NH

Battling the ‘Enfield hop’

London Capitals, 11 – Herts Falcons, 9

In a game where forfeit (and consequently the dashing of any playoff berth hopes) looked likely, the Herts Falcons battled adversity all day long in the Father’s Day matchup with the London Capitals.

Continue reading “Battling the ‘Enfield hop’”

Falcons pick up another win

Facing the 4th place Essex Arrows, the Herts Falcons split the double header, picking up another win against a playoff caliber team.

Game 1 featured the Arrows’ hard throwing righty who – excluding a walk to leadoff man John Blose who later scored – was pretty much untouchable. Racking up a high strike out total, the righty no-hit the Falcons through 4 innings before being relieved. For the Falcons, Zack Longboy took the mound, going the distance and holding the Arrows to a total of two hits.

The two hits however came at costly times for Herts as the Arrows’ hot hitting lefty Dustin Rowland doubled home two runs in the bottom of the 5th with one of the few hard hit balls by either team all game. The two runs erased a one run Falcons lead, drawing the scoreline to 4-3 Arrows.

Over the next two frames, the Herts bats stayed quiet while the Arrows tacked on another run to win the pitchers duel by a final score of 5-3.

Above: John Blose (#91) racked up gaudy walk totals with exceptional plate discipline and ignited the Falcons’ offense.

As the temperature reached a steamy high of 29 degrees, the bats on both teams also heated up, the scoring opening up in Game 2.

Tyler Badenhorst got the call for Herts, while the Arrows started righty Jamie Gregory who has struggled on the mound this season.

The scoring was early and often as the Arrows picked up three runs in the 1st before Herts came back with five in the 2nd. After 4 innings of work however, Badenhorst who had competed hard on the mound all day, went down with a right elbow injury (status yet to be confirmed). Matt Gilbert took over on the mound working out of a jam and preserving a two run lead for Herts.

In the Herts’ half of the 6th, Gilbert doubled with the bases loaded bringing home three runs and stretching the lead to 10-4. Gilbert’s three RBI knock would come to loom large as the game wore on.

In the bottom of the 6th, the Arrows rallied for 6 runs off of Gilbert, tying the game. The majority of these runs came with two outs as the Herts fielders struggled to put away the final out of the inning.

Despite the Arrow’s momentum, the Falcon’s rallied in the 7th picking up two runs on a line drive single to left by Blose after a beautifully executed sac bunt by Takaya Miki to move the runners into scoring position. The clutch hit stretched the Herts’ lead to 12-10 with three outs to go.

Longboy came on to close out the game and, after a lead off walk, retired 3 batters in a row to earn the save and secure a 12-10 Falcons win (their fourth of the season).


Fill in skipper Matt Gilbert took over the player-manager duties on Sunday with Manager Lee Manning out of the country on holiday. However, despite the extra responsibilities of Manager, Gilbert still came up big for the Falcons at the plate, his three run double arguably the most important hit of the entire double header.

Blose’s patience John Blose displayed impressive plate discipline throughout the day, drawing three walks, and continuously going deep into the count. His approach also manifested itself in hard contact throughout the day (whenever he wasn’t taking a base on balls). Blose also made a fantastic play on defense to end Game 2 – ranging to his right to catch a soft liner before pivoting and making an off balance perfect-strike throw to first base to pick up the double play.

Injury bug strikes The Falcons were forced to use every player they had as Ian McCann exited the game with a leg injury in the 4th, Badenhorst went down with elbow trouble and also exited in the 4th, and Louis Hare came up limp with a groin strain in the 5th. Unfortunately Hare had to stay in the Game as Herts had no further substitutes available, hobbling his way on one leg to a few more plays a first base and even scoring a run.


On Sunday July 24th, the Falcons will take on the 1st place London Mets (20-2) at Finsbury Park. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 PM.