The Herts Falcons (8-2) swept a double-header over the Croydon Pirates on Sunday to regain the top spot in the National Baseball League.
The Pirates remain win-less through their first ten games and were comfortably beaten 17-2 in five innings in the opening game, with starting pitcher Jeff House getting the win on his Falcons debut. However, it took a five-run sixth inning, highlighted by a two-run homer by Phil Clark, for Herts to break a 3-3 tie in the second game, giving reason to believe that Croydon’s first victory might not be too far away.
The Falcons’ sweep came on a day when the other three NBL double-headers all ended in splits.
The result is that Herts have a half-game lead over the Southampton Mustangs and Harlow Nationals (both 8-3), with the London Mets (6-3) one further game back.
Herts will aim to extend their lead at the top of the standings this Sunday with a successful double-header against the Essex Arrows (6-6), while the Harlow Nationals look to keep the pressure on as they travel to Bracknell (1-7). The Blazers earned their first win of the season on Sunday against the Arrows.
AAA: Redbacks and Badgers split their double-header
The Essex Redbacks (7-3) and Bristol Badgers (4-4) split their double-header on Sunday. The Badgers can take a lot of confidence from the way they bounced back to win the second game as they started the day by conceding 12 runs in the first inning of the opener, on their way to a 22-2 loss.
The Richmond Knights (6-2) lead the Badgers by two games in Pool A after they swept a double-header against the Latin Boys, whilst the Cambridge Royals (4-4) now sit two games behind the Redbacks in Pool B as they made it three wins from their last four games by winning twice at home against the London Metros. The Royals host the Badgers in a battle of the second-placed teams this Sunday at Coldham’s Common in Cambridge. The two Pool leaders meet for a double-header at Melbourne Park in Chelmsford.
In the North, the Bolton Robots of Doom are still seeking their first Triple-A victory as they were beaten twice by the Halton Jaguars to fall to an 0-6 record. The Jaguars are now at 3-5, although they face a tough test in moving up to a .500 record this Sunday as they have a double-header against the relentless Liverpool Trojans (8-0).
AA: Tigers take two, Rebels, Piranhas and Mavericks remain unbeaten
The Harrogate Tigers (4-4) inflicted the first two defeats of the season on the Hull Scorpions (4-2) in the North and the Manchester Torrent (4-2) took advantage by taking two wins against the Newton Aycliffe Spartans (0-6) to move past the Scorpions into second place behind the Sheffield Bladerunners.
Harrogate host Manchester this Sunday, with Sheffield hosting the Spartans and Hull attempting to get back on track with two games against Oldham.
Nottingham Rebels (4-0) carried on their winning start to the season in the AA-Midlands with two wins over the Leicester Blue Sox (3-3). The Rebels host the Stourbridge Titans on Sunday, who are still seeking their first win of the year after they were downed by the Milton Keynes Bucks (3-1) by a score of 21-2 last time out.
In the South, the Poole Piranhas (7-0) and Guildford Mavericks (5-0) remain unbeaten after they swept their recent double-headers, albeit in the Mavericks’ case by way of forfeits by the Thames Valley Bisons. The Herts Hawks (5-2) and Sidewinders (3-2) also had the brooms out on Sunday, whilst the Daws Hill Spitfires picked up a 15-5 victory over the Croydon Pirates III.
Poole host the Sidewinders this Sunday, with the Mavericks facing the London Mammoths.
A: Archers and Mavericks II to meet on Sunday
The top two teams in Single-A will meet in Essex this Sunday. The Guildford Mavericks II will go into the game having suffered their first defeat of the year at the hands of the London Marauders, while the Essex Archers still have a perfect 4-0 record.
Herts Eagles improved to 2-2 on the season thanks to an 18-16 win over the Essex Redbacks III team on Sunday, whilst the Old Timers are 2-0 after defeating Tonbridge 20-15.