Herts Spring League set to begin

Abel Salas slides into base against South London Pirates. Picture: Richard Lee Photography

Abel Salas slides into base against South London Pirates. Picture: Richard Lee Photography - Credit: Archant

Herts Spring League is set to begin, signalling the start of the British baseball season.

Commencing on March 21, the HSL will see 20 teams compete over the three weeks. Organised by Herts Baseball Club, it is Britain’s very own version of MLB’s Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues currently under way in the US.

The 20 teams will be entered into three HSL tiers. The top teams in the country from the National Baseball League and Triple-A Leagues will play in the HSL Majors. The HSL-AA is the second tier of the Herts Spring League, and will feature predominantly British Double-A League teams, while the third tier is the HSL-A and will consist mainly of Single-A teams.

“The objective of the HSL is to enable the teams to prepare for the new season and we have noticed that teams are increasingly starting to approach the HSL in the same way as MLB teams approach the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues,” said HSL commissioner, Aspi Dimitrov.

“We have taken this into account when formulating the schedule putting greater emphasis on the preferences and requirements of the teams over the format of the competition”.

The teams finishing at the top of their respective division will win the HSL. The “games-back” column in the standings will be critical, but undoubtedly some teams will end up with the same record and so it may go down to the number of runs conceded per game to break the tie.

The action will take place at Grovehill Ballpark in Hemel Hempstead and Town Mead Ballpark in Waltham Abbey, the home of the Essex Arrows and Essex Archers.

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Thirty-two games are scheduled to be played on the three diamonds. The competition begins on March 21 with a clash between the Herts Raptors and the Kent Mariners in the HSL-A bracket. The HSL-AA and HSL Majors divisions commence 24 hours later when the 2014 Triple-A national champions, Cambridge Royals, face the Double-A national champions, London Mammoths.

For more details about the event or if you are interested to give baseball a try in this competition, contact Herts Baseball Club via hertsbaseball.com.