Falcons play-off charge comes to an end

PUBLISHED: 16:03 11 August 2014 | UPDATED: 16:03 11 August 2014

Carlos Casal jr in action. Richard Lee Photography

Carlos Casal jr in action. Richard Lee Photography

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Hurricane Bertha wiped out all of the baseball league games involving teams from Hertfordshire, but the biggest damage was caused by the Southern Nationals, who won both games of their double-header against the South London Pirates.

The result implies that the play-offs are now out of the reach for Herts Falcons regardless of what happens on the final weekend of the season.

This was always going to be a transitional year after losing six of its nine starting players from the team which finished top of the NBL regular season last year with a record of 24 wins and four losses. In addition, the team suffered a series of injuries. More players were sidelined over the first four weeks of the season than in the previous three.

Despite this, the Falcons managed to regroup and acquired some outstanding players, including Abel Salas, Jose Sosa, Ryan Hackel and Zac Malone, and mounted a major play-off push in the last two and a half months. Players who had come through the club’s youth programme were asked to perform on the big stage and they came through with flying colours.

“The players gave everything this season. We just ran out of games at the end,” said manager Lee Manning.

“Everyone will feel some disappointment as we had a team capable of competing and we recorded a win against every team in the league including the league leaders”.

The Herts baseball teams are out of the playoff races in the respective leagues, but on the final weekend of the season they will have a say in who will occupy the post-season places after the final out of the regular season.

This is the first time since 2011 that Hertfordshire will not be represented in the play-offs of the four tiers of the adult leagues of British Baseball.

The hopes of Herts baseball fans now rest on the shoulders of the club’s three youth teams which are preparing for the play-offs in the U17, U14 and U12.

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