Baseball: Falcons suffer play-off setback

PUBLISHED: 08:47 13 May 2014 | UPDATED: 08:47 13 May 2014

Herts Falcons suffered two key injuries in a loss to Bracknell Blazers. Picture: Richard Lee Photography

Herts Falcons suffered two key injuries in a loss to Bracknell Blazers. Picture: Richard Lee Photography

Archant

After taking a 6-3 lead and seemingly in control away at the Bracknell Blazers, the Herts Falcons suffered a setback in the race for the NBL title.

First the Blazers rallied with four runs in the bottom of the final inning to win the first game of the doubleheader 7-6, but perhaps what would be even more costly in the long-run are the serious injuries to centerfielder, Cris Hiche, and pitcher, Abel Salas.

Hiche had to be taken to hospital where it was confirmed that he had fractured his wrist in an outfield collision with Mike Osborn as both tried to bravely make the play for the same fly ball. Salas was taken out of the game with a hamstring injury. He was slated to be the starting pitcher in the second game of the day, but the injury mean that the team’s pre-game strategy had to be scrapped.

The Blazers took full advantage to win the second game convincingly 14-4.

Falcons manager Lee Manning, who could not be with the team as he was awaiting the arrival of his second child, said: “We have to battle through the storm while our injured players recover and try to pick up wins along the way to stay in the NBL playoff race.”

In the Triple-A League the Eagles lost both games against the Essex Redbacks, 11-4 and 13-3.

In the Double-A League, the Herts Hawks pulled-off another miraculous comeback. After trailing 11-4 against the Brentwood Stags they turned the game on its head to win 14-13. The second game was won convincingly by the Stags, 21-11.

Next week all four Herts adult teams are in action. With their injury problems, Falcons go into their home game against the revamped Essex Arrows as the underdogs. The game starts at 1pm on Sunday, May 18, at Grovehill Ballpark, in Hemel Hempstead. Twenty-four hours before the club’s youth team will go into the unknown as they face several American teams and a team from Paris, France.

Weekend’s results:

National Baseball League

Herts Falcons 6 Bracknell Blazers 7

Herts Falcons 4 Bracknell Blazers 14

Triple-A League

Essex Redbacks 11 Herts Eagles 4

Essex Redbacks 13 Herts Eagles 3

Double-A League

Brentwood Stags 13 Herts Hawks 14

Brentwood Stags 21 Herts Hawks 11

Next games:

National Baseball League

Essex Arrows @ Herts Falcons - 1pm and 3pm starts

British Triple-A League

Hove Tuesday @ Herts Eagles - 12pm and 2.30pm starts

British Double-A League

Herts Hawks @ Richmond Dragons - 12pm and 2.30pm starts

British Single-A League

Kent Mariners @ Herts Raptors - 12pm start

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