Baseball: Inury-hit Falcons shock Mustangs
- Credit: Archant
Those who wrote off the injury-hit Herts Falcons from the National Baseball League playoff race may be having second thoughts after Sunday’s games.
The Falcons found themselves bottom of the standings with a difficult game away at the table-topping Southampton Mustangs.
Despite conceding four runs in the first inning, starting pitcher Abel Salas, who was back after missing the previous two games with a hamstring injury, shut down Southampton’s offence preventing any further runs for the remainder of the game which the Falcons went on to win 8-4.
Apart from Salas, Herts also saw the return from injury of Tom Armstrong as well as the debuts of Ryan Hackel and Daniel Fernandez.
The team was not far from winning the second game of the double-header. Pitcher Jose Sosa had another outstanding performance, allowing only two runs going into the sixth inning, but then the Mustangs drove in five runs to open up an unassailable lead and win 7-3.
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The Falcons are still bottom of the NBL, however, with teams so evenly-matched they are just one game back from the play-off places. They will have the chance to lift themselves off the bottom and straight into the play-off zone if they can beat the South London Pirates this Sunday at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead. First pitch is at 12pm.
The Herts Eagles had a difficult day against the reigning Triple-A League champions, London Metros, losing both games of the double-header.
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Charlie Mayhew, 16, a product of the Herts youth baseball programme, pitched a gem for the Herts Hawks at the Brentwood Stags. The team held on to their two-run lead throughout the game right up until the sixth inning when the Stags managed to squeeze in the go-ahead run and held on for an 8-7 win. Despite the losses, the Hawks’ good performance will give them confidence that they can still get back in the play-off race when their six missing players return to the starting line-up.
Herts Raptors lost 25-13 to the London Musketeers in a closely fought game that only slipped away from them in the later innings. Raptors are now 0-5 this season.