Baseball: Eagles pick up a win against Kings; triple play for Hawks
- Credit: Archant
With the Falcons not involved in NBL action at the weekend the focus was on two other Herts teams who opened their seasons in the second and third tier of the British Baseball League.
In the Triple-A League the Herts Eagles had a difficult start, losing the first game against the Oxford Kings. However, they came back strong in the second game to pick up a 16-11 win.
Lee Manning was the winning pitcher in that game. Similar to last year, the Eagles’ squad is made up predominantly of players from the club’s U19 and U17 teams but they are a year older and expectations are higher this season. The win will give the team belief that they are capable of reaching the play-offs.
The Herts Hawks opened their Double-A League campaign at home against the London Mammoths. Despite another good pitching performance from Nick Russell, they found it difficult to contain the Mammoths’ batting assault, losing the first game 17-7 and the second 27-10.
Fielding errors proved to be a major weakness for the Hawks on the day, but ironically, among all the errors, there were two outstanding defensive plays which are already favourites for play of the year. The first was a spectacular diving catch by centerfielder Ilya Dimitrov. The second was that rarest of plays in the game of baseball – the triple play. With runners on first and second and no one out, the ball was hit sharply on a frozen rope to first base where Andrew Slater caught it. Without hesitation he stepped on first base for the second out and then threw to second base for the third out with runners in both cases desperately diving back into the bags but unable to stay alive.
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According to the Society for American Baseball Research, there have been 691 triple plays in Major League Baseball from 1876 to April 13, 2013. The most recent triple play, was recorded April 12, 2013 by the New York Yankees against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
The heavy defeat will have an effect on confidence, but the Hawks will remain positive in the knowledge that they were crushed 21-8 by the Mammoths on opening day 12 months ago and still managed to reach the Double-A playoffs.
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The British adult and youth leagues take a break for the Easter holidays. The action resumes on the following weekend, April 26-27.
Oxford Kings 18 Herts Eagles 8
Oxford Kings 11 Herts Eagles 16
London Mammoths 17 Herts Hawks 7
London Mammoths 27 Herts Hawks 10