Slater delivers as high-flying Herts Hawks sink the Mariners

Andy Cornish and Andrew Slater were on form for the Herts Hawks against the Kent Mariners. Picture (c) Rob Jones

Andy Cornish and Andrew Slater were on form for the Herts Hawks against the Kent Mariners. Picture (c) Rob Jones

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Herts Hawks pitcher Andrew Slater set a new season high for strikeouts as his side beat the Kent Mariners 20-3 at Grovehill Ballpark to strengthen their claims for a top seeding for the post-season play-offs.

Slater – also the team’s joint-manager – got the better of seven batters in a dominant performance to ensure that the Hawks remain unbeaten in the British Baseball Federation’s Single-A league.

The offense was again led by Hemel Hempstead’s Andy Cornish, who had four hits including a home run, while Sonam Lama scored five runs.

Slater praised the team effort, saying: “It was a good performance all around.”

The Hawks’ main rivals in the league are the London Musketeers, who are also unbeaten. On Sunday they were taking on the Herts Raptors on Grovehill’s second diamond.

The Raptors are mainly made up of new players, but they fought hard to stay with the unbeaten London side. It was still a respectable 13-6 in the middle of the fifth inning.

In his first ever start for the team, Hemel Hempstead’s Matthew White hit two doubles and scored two runs, while Darren Priest’s first ever hit was a double. But in the end, Musketeers had too much power and they piled on runs to win 25-6.

Raptors manager Rob Jones said: “We played really well against a tough side, and made some great plays. I am really pleased with the progress new guys have made – they will go far.”

Earlier in the day, the Herts Raptors won 9-0 over the Haverhill Blackjacks by forfeit.