Baseball: Opening Day drama for Herts Falcons

Falcons greet Cris Hiche after his grand slam home run. Picture: Richard Lee Photography

Falcons greet Cris Hiche after his grand slam home run. Picture: Richard Lee Photography - Credit: Archant

If the Opening Day games between the Herts Falcons and the London Mets are an indicator of what is to come this season, fans of British baseball would be advised to buckle up as we are in for a wild ride.

Herts Falcons and London Mets both picked up a win in their Opening Day clash. Picture: Richard Lee

Herts Falcons and London Mets both picked up a win in their Opening Day clash. Picture: Richard Lee Photography - Credit: Archant

The Mets took what looked like an unassailable 10-2 lead against starting pitcher Mike Osborn although it must be pointed out that most of these were unearned runs as the Falcons’ new look defence was still finding its feet.

“It will take a little more time for us to tune up our defence after losing several key players” said Falcons manager Lee Manning.

His team responded in the most spectacular fashion. A grand slam by Cris Hiche and a two-run home run by 2013 League MVP Ryan Bird brought them back into the game and even gave them the lead with the sore 13-11. It wasn’t enough, though, as the Mets responded to pick up the win.

Fans witnessed a very scary moment when London outfielders Jonathan Cramman and Josh Saunders made a daring attempt to make a diving catch which resulted in a very serious collision requiring a 10-minute delay treating both players. Thankfully, they didn’t need to be taken to hospital.


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Abel Salas was the starting pitcher for Herts in game two and he went the distance and seemed to be getting stronger with every inning. In the final inning he delivered two key strikeouts to get the last two outs of the game, stranding London’s tying run at third base to secure a 11-10 win for Herts.

“After such an outstanding comeback in the first game we felt that we missed a good opportunity, but we showed a lot of character to respond in the second game especially as the team had to do it without the injured Ryan Bird and it is a positive sign that we have players who can step up in difficult situations with the game on the line” said Manning.

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The action resumes next Sunday, 13 April, as British Baseball’s second, third and fourth tier leagues open their season. Herts Eagles play the Oxford Kings, while the Herts Hawks will face title-favourites, London Mammoths. Both games are at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead.

WEEKEND’S RESULTS

National Baseball Legaue

Herts Falcons 13 London Mets 23

Herts Falcons 11 London Mets 10

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