Arrows dart past Herts Falcons to take top spot

Carlos Casal Jr in action for the Herts Falcons this season. Picture (c) Richard Lee, www.richardleephotography.org
Carlos Casal Jr in action for the Herts Falcons this season. Picture (c) Richard Lee, www.richardleephotography.org

Herts Falcons were eliminated from the National Baseball League playoff race seven days ago, but on the final weekend of the regular season they had a chance to ruin the plans of the Essex Arrows who needed a win to secure top spot and an easier path to the final.

The Falcons planned to unleash their ace pitcher Abel Salas on the Arrows, but an arm injury before the start of the game meant that Darrin Ward had to take his place.

Despite a closely fought battle, the Arrows pulled away in the late innings to win 10-2 and clinch top spot, taking pole position going into the playoffs.

Two more games were played on Sunday which enabled the Falcons to end their season on a positive note.

Promising 16-year-old pitcher Zack Longboy made his NBL debut and pitched a complete game as the Falcons won 11-6 against the South London Pirates.

The arm injury prevented star player Salas from pitching, but that didn’t stop him from hitting a grand slam home run in that game.

In the Single-A League the Herts Raptors suffered a 39-14 defeat against the Essex Archers.

The hopes of Herts baseball fans now rest on the club’s three youth teams who are preparing for the playoffs in the U17, U14 and U12 leagues.

The British Baseball Federation has just announced that the Herts Harriers have been awarded a place in the U17 national semi-finals automatically as the second seed. In a repeat of last-year’s semi-final, they will face the London Mets who are the third seed.

The path to the final is more difficult for the U14 Herts Cardinals, who have to go through a three-team wild card playoff with the Brentwood Bucks and Essex Redbacks.

The Herts U12 team will also have to go through the wild card playoff, where they will face Brentwood Bucks U12s.